Matt Doherty living the dream with Wolves

Matt Doherty says he is in ‘dreamland’ as he prepares for his 300th Wolves appearance – and hopes they see out the season in style.

Matt Doherty of Wolverhampton Wanderers. (AMA/Sam Bagnall)
Matt Doherty of Wolverhampton Wanderers. (AMA/Sam Bagnall)

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side head into a crunch clash with Chelsea on Sunday knowing a win will guarantee a Europa League place for the second season running.

Doherty – who has now been with the club for 10 years – is set to hit quite the milestone at Stamford Bridge, too.

The Irishman said on his Wolves journey so far: “Look, I was here when we were in the Premier League initially, under Mick McCarthy.

“Then, we had the double relegation, I had a few loan spells.

“It’s been up and down, but everything that happened before, the last three years have made it all worthwhile.

“The last couple of seasons have just been like a dreamland.

“Everybody dreams of playing in the Premier League, and playing in a team as good as we are, with the atmosphere we have around the training ground, gives you a great sense of pride.

“Sunday might be my 300th game. I’ve been able to survive, so I must be doing something half-decent on the pitch.”

Wolves head into the encounter having already surpassed last season’s points tally, and Doherty said: “There has definitely been progress. We’ve obviously improved on last season. The position is better at the moment, too, and hopefully it stays that way.

“We have not suffered any second-season syndrome or anything like that.

“Last season, we dropped points against teams in the lower half of the league.

“We just weren’t able to break them down, but this season – and the stats back it up – we’ve been a bit more ruthless.

“We’ve kind of put those teams to bed, so that’s something we’ve improved on.”

Wolves’ strong form since the restart sees them currently in sixth, with Tottenham – who go to Crystal Palace on Sunday – a point behind.

On how things have gone since the Premier League got back under way, Doherty said: “We were obviously very pleased with the start we had, with three wins and three clean sheets.

“We were disappointed to lost at home to Arsenal – that’s a game we could have done better in – and then we had a couple of sucker-punch last-minute blows, against Sheffield United and Burnley.

“Had we just held out for a minute or two more, we’d be going into the game on Sunday with a real chance of top four, but it was not to be, I guess.”

There is a lot on the line for both teams on Sunday, with Chelsea also aiming to secure a Champions League place and knowing a point would do it.

But winger Adama Traore insists Wolves are staying level-headed.

“We know there are many things on the line, but the mentality of the team is to fight until the end,” said Traore.

“Whatever team is in front of us, it doesn’t matter. We fight until the end, to win, and our mentality is to be the best we can be.

“It’s a big game, but we go with the same mentality as we have had before.”

Traore also had kind words for Doherty as he added: “We talk a lot about the connection we have. He’s a very good player.

“He knows how to get into the areas, he defends very good, so I think he’s a very good player.

“He’s been massively impressive and has helped me a lot, also.

“When I came from Middlesbrough, the shape under Nuno was totally different to that, so he helped me a lot _ seeing his position, the different movements.

“He’s been at the club for a long time, so he has the identity of the club. He’s a good professional, too.”

Most Read

Most Read

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News