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Doherty tipped for the top

Posted on 18 January 2001  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Director of football David Pleat has backed Gary Doherty to succeed at the highest level.

Doherty was recruited from Pleat’s former club Luton in April of last year and now, nine months on, the flame-haired striker-cum-defender is making the sort of impact that totally justifies the club’s policy of talent spotting in the lower leagues.

The 20-year-old, who comes of age at the end of January, played his first full game of the season in the dismal performance at Ipswich in late December, but had a New Year’s positional shift which resulted in great success.

Sound defensive displays and two goals in three games has been Doherty’s return since George elected to make the Irish international one of his three central defenders, and Pleat believes it is a position he has a chance of retaining.

"The tall Gary Doherty is beginning to show the outstanding ability in the air that I always felt he had having seen him play in two important Cup ties against Fulham and be a massive danger from the centre forward position," said David in his latest ‘Talking Shop’ column.

"Of course, playing centre-half is a little bit easier, coming onto the ball and facing the play and for the moment it may be that this is a position he can command intermittently in the senior team.

"The most important thing is that, in time, he becomes a regular senior Tottenham Hotspur player, which would then justify for sure the transfer fee we paid the then Luton manager, the shrewd Lennie Lawrence.

Pleat went on to empathise with the plight of managers who are forced to sell their starlets and recalled how he felt while at Luton when the likes of John Hartson and Mark Pembridge departed for the bigger stage.

"When they leave your club, however, you want them to have a good career. I am sure that whatever position Doherty plays, he will have a good career because I feel he is one of those players who has the correct amount of aggressiveness without being over-aggressive and lacking confidence and therefore being aggressive in the wrong manner.

"I am sure that he will continue to develop physically, and provided he is mentally strong, he will have a senior career."

Read David's Talking Shop column