Matt Doherty: 'My defending was the problem. Now it’s my attacking. Maybe my face just doesn’t fit'

Matt Doherty: 'My defending was the problem. Now it’s my attacking. Maybe my face just doesn’t fit'

Matt Doherty has expressed his frustration at his lack of a Republic of Ireland start under Martin O'Neill.

The Wolves wing-back continued his good form yesterday by setting up Raul Jimenez for their winner against Burnley, the same day as his comments questioning O'Neill's criticism of him were published.

Ireland aren't blessed with many Premier League regulars, apart from right-back where Doherty is in competition with Seamus Coleman and Cyrus Christie. Indeed, O'Neill made room for the latter duo in Ireland's Nations League opener against Wales by playing Christie on the right wing.

Speaking to the press after last week's internationals, O'Neill said Doherty, whose three caps have all come as a sub in friendlies, needs to work on taking on players with attacking runs.

"My own view — and I think he totally agrees with me — is that the way Wolves play at times, when he’s out wide he’ll look to pass it infield again. And I believe he can drive forward with it," said O'Neill.

"When he gets the confidence to do that, I believe he can do it because he’s strong. Cyrus Christie will try and drive forward like that in that position. But overall I was pleased to get him on the field of play. Certainly, on that side of the field we have got a bit of competition."

In an interview with The Observer, those comments were put to Doherty.

"That’s his opinion when he watches me. I wouldn’t say I have the same opinion," he said.

Matt Doherty: 'My defending was the problem. Now it’s my attacking. Maybe my face just doesn’t fit'

He was also asked if there is a personal issue between him and O'Neill, and if it was true O'Neill was unhappy with him wearing gloves.

"He’s mentioned the gloves. I wear them because it’s cold. When I first went out he had a joke about the gloves, nothing too serious. I don’t know [if that is an issue]. Ask him.

"I know he’s said he would like me to attack more. Maybe I’ll do that. When I first joined up it was my defending that was the problem. Now it’s my attacking. Maybe my face just doesn’t fit."

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