Looking back at 10 years in gold and black, Matt Doherty is proud of the part he has played in the Wolves project as he prepares to make his 300th appearance for the club.
The Irish wing-back clocked up number 299 when he stepped out at Molineux on Monday night, marking the achievement by setting up Daniel Podence to open the scoring against Crystal Palace.
And with his decade anniversary approaching next month, Doherty, who has survived successive relegations, a pair of promotions and eight managers while at Wolves, is hopeful that his old gold journey will not be ending any time soon.
On one game away from his 300th appearance
“It’s something ‘Coads’ [Conor Coady] mentioned to me the other day, but I thought I only made 250 against Tottenham, so I didn’t know how many appearances I had!
“To be at the club for almost 10 years and survive through different managers, different owners, different ways of playing and seeing the huge amount of turnover of players, it makes me feel proud that I’ve been able to survive. It must mean that I’m doing something right and playing well.
“It’s been 10 years, so let’s see if I can get 15 or 16 in and then I’ll be finished. That would make me 34 and my legs will have gone by then!”
On picking up the three points against Palace
“The manager said to us before the game that this was a ‘must-win’ and with Tottenham winning the other day they went a couple of points ahead of us.
“We knew what the job in front of us was, but I thought we started off a bit slow and a bit flat in the first-half, and we didn’t really get going until we scored the goal, got a little bit more confidence going into the second-half. So it was almost perfect timing for us because it settled us down.
“Second-half was quite feisty really and I don’t know if you could tell from the sidelines, but we had to just keep our head and managed to get the deciding goal which was able to kill the game.”
On second-half form
“We can’t really put out finger on it. Maybe it’s just the fitness levels, or because we’re playing a lot of games maybe we’re just a little bit flat to start off and then it takes us a little while to get our legs going or get a second wind.
“It’s different in the second-half and we feel great, so a lot of credit goes to the fitness staff here, who are absolutely world-class. They should take a lot of credit for that one.”
On Moutinho’s magical pass
“The weight of the pass was perfect. There wasn’t much space, there was a defender coming across as well, and it was good timing of the goal.
“Ever since he came to the club, I’ve been making those runs and he’s been picking me out. He’s an absolutely world-class midfielder with world-class vision.
“If you’re clever enough to make the right run, he’s going to pick you out nine times out of 10. I’ve probably not been making those runs of late, but he’s been able to pick me out and I’ve managed to shank a cross straight into Podence’s path.”
On bettering last season’s points tally
“We wanted to improve on last season and we’ve done that. We want to be in Europe again, but we had that set-back against Burnley.
“We needed to make sure we won tonight and that we go to Chelsea probably needing to win to make sure we’re there again.”
On aiming for a place in Europe
“I’d be lying if we said we didn’t look at results and weren’t absolutely sick by drawing against Burnley.
“We knew that Liverpool were playing Chelsea and knew they might win, and we might have been able to go to the last game of the season and try to beat Chelsea [for a top four finish].
“Privately in little groups we probably spoke about it, but we’ve just got to make sure we finish in sixth position now.”
On a year-long season
“My legs feel like they’ve been going for a full calendar year! After Chelsea we’ve got a few days off, so I’ll enjoy that.
“I’ll play some golf, spend some time with the family and then get focused for Olympiacos.”