Wolves defender Matt Doherty has admitted that he has yet to rediscover full fitness after a knee injury curtailed his pre-season involvement.
In an interview with the Express & Star, the 27-year-old said: “I don’t feel 100 per cent yet to be honest. I missed all of pre-season pretty much and have come straight back into games.”
— Tim Spiers (@tim_spiers_Star) August 27, 2019
The Express & Star said that Doherty missed the bulk of Wolves’ pre-season programme with knee trouble that delayed his return to action until August 8th, when he played (and scored) against FC Pyunik in a Europa League qualifier.
Despite that injury layoff, the Republic of Ireland right-back has started all of Wolves’ three Premier League games so far this season against Leicester, Manchester United and Burnley.
He played the full game against the Foxes but was taken off at half-time in the 1-1 draw against Manchester United after struggling with injury and illness, as reported by the Daily Express. He then featured for 76 minutes against Burnley last Sunday.
These Wolves fans on Twitter feel that Doherty is not at his best and questioned why Nuno Espirito Santo has consistently named him in the starting XI:
Why’s he playing then?
— Neil maton (@Headless1970) August 27, 2019
Is it fitness or just having an awful spell. Looks lost, can't attack or defend at the moment , is it just confidence , it looks more than fitness to me ,
— Brian Hand (@stookiebri) August 27, 2019
then why is he playing tim? i’m not a football manager but surely you should play your fit players??
— joey (@fatalmango) August 27, 2019
Barely crossed the half way line Sunday. Was glaringly obvious he wasn’t fit. Traore atm is a better option
— Kaiju JIMENEZ (@AstleySam) August 27, 2019
It was a good chance to give him a few more days to recover by playing Traore against Burnley. He doesn’t look himself yet
— Paul Mansell (@PaulMansell10) August 27, 2019
Then why did he start!? Traoré has more than proved himself in pre-season and the Europa League. If he can't play, don't play him! Based on his last two performances, I wouldn't even have him on the bench against Torino and Everton.
— Anthony Benton #GTTO (@SomeBritishDud1) August 27, 2019
Why is he not being brought on at 60 mins like any other player does when returning from injury, starting with him not being 100% isn’t the answer for me when we are already chasing games before a substitute is used as his replacement. Surely start your strongest 11
— Thomas Mason (@wolvesladtom) August 27, 2019
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Just doesn’t make sense to play him – when Adama on fire and his confidence must be on the rise . I’m sure Burnley dressing room got a boost when heard he was only on the bench .
— William Ambrose (@SirBillyWright) August 27, 2019