Antonio Conte thinks Matt Doherty is an example for all his other Tottenham players.
The Republic of Ireland wing-back has gone from a potential January transfer to a star player in a rejuvenated Spurs squad.
Doherty’s struggles in north London were well documented and he found himself on the periphery of the team after Conte’s arrival in November.
It was January before the 30-year-old started a Premier League game under his new boss, but since then he has become a regular starter with two goals and four assists as Spurs have climbed into the top 4.
“Matthew is the typical player who shows good improvement,” Conte said ahead of this weekend’s game with Aston Villa.
“If you remember very well, at first he didn’t play much with me because at that time I think he didn’t deserve to play. But then he worked very hard.
“He’s a very good guy. In each training session, you see the desire, the desire to improve, the tactical and technical aspect. He has a great mentality. He is strong.
“A lot of times when players don’t play a lot, they mentally crumble. But he showed me that I was strong, that I stayed there. He showed me: ‘I can do whatever you want, I will improve and when I am ready I want to play.
“He didn’t show me by speaking but with his attitude and his behavior and for that reason he plays, he deserves to play and he plays very well.
“He has great confidence and I’m very happy for him, because he’s a great example for other players. I want to win and I don’t care if I play against one player or another, I decide the player when I see that this player gives me a good attitude.”
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