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Football Reporting


Doherty opens up on competition with Aurier at Tottenham Hotspur

The Irish defender moved to North London in the summer to provide more options for Jose Mourinho in the right-back position

Matt Doherty said his competition with Serge Aurier at Tottenham Hotspur is to make each other better.

The duo is battling for the right-back spot in Jose Mourinho’s team this season, however, they have both delivered impressive performances whenever they are called upon.

Earlier this season, Doherty got the nod to start on the right side of the defence but tested positive for coronavirus in November which led to Aurier’s return to the starting XI.

The Ivory Coast international has helped Spurs keep three consecutive clean sheets in the Premier League – their goalless draws against Arsenal and Chelsea, and a 2-0 victory over Manchester City.

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Aurier was reportedly linked with an exit from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the summer with AC Milan and Spartak Moscow reportedly interested in his services, following the arrival of Doherty from Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Ahead of Sunday’s London derby at Crystal Palace, the summer-signing welcomes the competition for playing time as a healthy fight.

Doherty told the club website: “I love it here. I came here in the summer and we’re fighting it out, driving each other on, whether he plays or I play, we’ve pretty much played half-and-half this season, so we try to get the best out of each other, and any competition is going to improve the team.

“You want to play as many games as possible, you want to stay sharp, and there is nothing like game fitness.

“Fortunately, people who haven’t played one game have managed to play the midweek game, so everyone is fresh enough.

“I guess whatever the team is, we’re all in pretty good nick.”

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Aurier missed Thursday’s Europa League victory over Royal Antwerp due to a knock as Tottenham advanced to the Round of 32 as Group J winners.

The 27-year-old defender remains a doubt to make his sixth Premier League appearance at Selhurst Park on Sunday.

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