Programme: Gary Doherty
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).
<P class=MsoNormal><I>Jon Rayner talks to Gary Doherty.</I><P class=MsoNormal>You have been at the club for exactly a year now, how do you feel that your first 12 months at White Hart Lane have gone?<P class=MsoNormal>Things started slowly and I wasn't really involved with the senior squad at first, just mainly playing in the Reserves. But, at the turn of the year, everything took off for me and things have gone really well so far. I am obviously delighted with how I have progressed.<P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp;<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal>When you joined, you clearly had First Team aspirations, but did you think you would be playing regular Premiership football within a year?<P class=MsoNormal>When I first arrived I thought I would be a bit-part player, but I have certainly played a lot more games than I ever thought I would at this stage. I didn't expect to be involved this much so soon, I think I have played 16 or 17 games on the trot now so that's brilliant for me. I am just aiming to be a regular in the side, be involved as much as I can and hopefully keep my place in the team.<P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal>You have scored some crucial F.A. Cup goals for the team this season, particularly against Leyton Orient, but how did you feel when the ball crossed the line in the semi-final?<P class=MsoNormal>It was a great moment to score against Arsenal and it obviously put us 1-0 up, but unfortunately we couldn't hold on to it.<P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal>It must have been a boost to have players like Sol Campbell and Les Ferdinand back playing, but how crucial was it when they both had to go off?<P class=MsoNormal>I think we might have done it, if we hadn't lost key players like Les and Sol. We have been so unfortunate with injuries and it always seems to happen to our most influential players as well. But the absence of senior players is the reason that so many youngsters have been given a chance, so I can't really complain. Having said that, I think we would have had a really good chance of beating Arsenal if we could have kept Les and Sol on the pitch and had a lot more of our senior players back, but things didn't turn out that way.<P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal>How influential are the more experienced players, when you are out there playing alongside them?<P class=MsoNormal>They are invaluable to the whole team and we need them on the pitch. When you see players of that calibre, who are experienced internationals, you know what they are capable of and players like myself can only learn from them. It was just unfortunate that Sol went over on his other ankle against Arsenal and things went from there. Both Steve Carr and Tim Sherwood played superbly but they were still not fully fit, so it was always going to be hard for us. Arsenal are a threat from everywhere, but the final score was only 2-1 so maybe we could have beaten them with a full strength side, who knows?<P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal>It seems that you only tend to score goals from a defensive role rather than when you are playing up front. Is that a fair observation?<P class=MsoNormal>It's a good point. It is strange that when I do play up front I don't seem to get on the score-sheet and then when I am playing in defence I do. I don't know what it is. Maybe I am more relaxed in front of goal when I am playing at centre-half, because you are not expected to score, but to be honest I don't really know why it has turned out like that.<P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal>The long running debate over your best position looks set to continue, what are your thoughts on the subject?<P class=MsoNormal>I'm just happy to play at the moment, up front or in defence. Obviously in the long run I will want to settle down to one position. But with the injury situation that we have had, I don't mind playing in different positions. It is up to the manager, wherever he wants me to play I'm happy.<P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal>It maybe early days, but what are your first impressions of the new manager Glenn Hoddle?<P class=MsoNormal>Brilliant. He has changed a few things already, he has brought in a lot more Continental ideas, particularly massages and stretching exercises, which is good. There is a really enjoyable atmosphere here at the moment and the training ground is a happy place to be.<P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp;<P class=MsoNormal>Was it difficult to pick yourselves up after the semi-final?<P class=MsoNormal>Glenn and John Gorman lifted us really well after the Arsenal defeat, because we had an important game against Bradford within a couple of days. In the end we won that one, so hopefully we can take that into the remaining matches of the season.<P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p><P class=MsoNormal>There seems to be a real feeling of optimism about the place, do you agree?<P class=MsoNormal>The season may be coming to an end, but it is a new beginning for us all at the club. We have new owners and a new manager, so things are looking bright for Tottenham. It is an exciting time for everybody at the club, things are really taking off for us. We have got true Tottenham people here now, with the management team as well as in the boardroom, so I can only see good things for a bright future. I just want to be a part of it.<P class=MsoNormal>&nbsp;