Home News Matt Doherty responds to Antonio Conte’s comments after Brighton win.

Matt Doherty responds to Antonio Conte’s comments after Brighton win.

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BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 08: Matt Doherty of Tottenham Hotspur looks on during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Tottenham Hotspur at American Express Community Stadium on October 08, 2022 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

Tottenham’s Matt Doherty has insisted he was neither concerned nor motivated by Antonio Conte’s comments about his condition last week, and says is ready to “shine again” after finally overcoming a serious knee injury.

The 30-year-old has made just four appearances for Antonio Conte’s side so far this season. (Photo: Getty Images)

Doherty was handed his first start for Spurs since he suffered knee ligament damage, which required surgery, against Aston Villa in April.

Speaking to the media on Monday last week, Conte reiterated Doherty was “not in the right way” to start games. The Spurs head coach added: “I am not stupid. I don’t want to lose.”

The Irishman was handed his first start of the season away at Brighton on Saturday, and he passed the test with flying colours.

Asked if he took Conte’s comments as a challenge, Doherty said: “No. To be honest, some of the lads, and one of my best friends, said that it was taken out of context. I didn’t read the whole thing, but they said to me that it was, and I trust their opinion.

“Look, I spoke to the manger when I was on international [duty], I know what he expects of me. I took no offence to the comments at all. It didn’t spur me on. I knew that I’d continue to train hard and that of an opportunity did arise I’d be good enough to take it.

“It’s only been frustrating [not playing] because I feel like it’s fitness issues. I just didn’t feel great in my body. The last four to six weeks I’ve started to feel like myself again. But look, I had a serious injury. It wasn’t a three or four week injury. I had surgery on my knee. I’m happy with where I am at the moment.

“I’ve started to feel good over the last four to six weeks. It’s taken a bit longer than I would have liked for my body to full recover, get my legs back and that match fitness that you need to play for a club like Tottenham. I feel like I’m getting there. It’s only one start. I think if I get a run of games I’d really start to shine again.”

With Emerson also banned for the games against Everton and Manchester United, Doherty is eyeing a run of games and a return to the form that made him a Conte favourite before he was injured last season.

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