Doherty's rallying call
GARY Doherty has urged City to turn back the clock to October 21, 2008 - and produce another magical night under the lights at Carrow Road.It was back in the autumn when City beat Wolves 5-2 - the clear highlight of a disappointing season which has left City deep in relegation trouble.
GARY Doherty has urged City to turn back the clock to October 21, 2008 - and produce another magical night under the lights at Carrow Road.
It was back in the autumn when City beat Wolves 5-2 - the clear highlight of a disappointing season which has left City deep in relegation trouble.
And Doherty is urging players and fans alike to reproduce the winning formula when Cardiff come to Carrow Road tomorrow night - and then follow up by beating Plymouth at home next weekend.
“We have pulled off some great results, particularly Tuesday night home games - Wolves comes to mind,” said Doherty.
“So we need another massive win at home - we need six points from the next two games just to give ourselves a good chance.
“We need everyone behind us. Cardiff are a big club so that will hopefully get the fans on our side.
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“I can't stress it enough - it's a must win.”
The danger is that City will find the gap between the drop zone and safety too wide to bridge.
“We don't want to get cut adrift and it makes Tuesday massive,” Doherty added. “Looking at that you need to win every single home game and try and nick something away from home. We have to start Tuesday. Cardiff is massive, they are looking for promotion to the Premiership and we are in a dogfight so it's going to be a big game for us.”
The reason it's a must win is because City, battling 1-0 winners at QPR last Tuesday, were brought down to earth with a bang at Blackpool on Saturday.
Doherty - wearing the captain's armband for the first time since his appointment as club captain was confirmed by manager Bryan Gunn - admitted the fans had been let down by a “terrible” display.
“It's tremendous that they came all this way,” he said. “We kind of gave them false hope from the great result Tuesday and they came up here, probably like us full of confidence, and to put on a terrible display like that is obviously heart-breaking so we have got to go back and make up for it on Tuesday.
“We knew coming into it, it was a big six-pointer and obviously to come out on the wrong end of it is very disappointing, especially after Tuesday when we put on a good performance and today obviously it was a bad performance.”
Brett Ormerod started the ball rolling away from City when his cross became a shot - and the opening goal - and from then on it was a very different City to the one which had scrapped all the way at Loftus Road four days earlier.
“In the second half it was,” said Doherty. “First half we rode our luck a little bit, but I still felt confident that they weren't going to score and then the second half they got a crazy goal. I'm guessing he tried to cross it because if he tried to shoot from there he's a hell of a player. That's obviously disappointing and then we are always trying to play catch-up - then they hit us with a second goal.”
Doherty is convinced that the state of the Bloomfield Road pitch didn't help City, with the so-called flair players failing to spark - although as captain there is a delicate balance in the way he tries to gee his team-mates up.
“We have got players that can spark, but on this pitch…Wes (Hoolahan) was caught in all the sand and Crofty and our flair players probably struggled on the pitch later and that's when you have got to dig in. I think we were digging in, we worked hard like we did Tuesday night on a bad pitch, but the first goal has killed us today
“We will have some harsh words but we are also going to try and pick a few lads up. We have got a lot of flair players and if you keep having a go at them their heads will drop and you never get the best out of them so we have got to try and keep geeing them up for the home game in front of the fans and hopefully that will get us a good result Tuesday and we can start again.”