Confident Doherty itching for belated Irish opportunity
Matt Doherty is viewing Ireland's transitional period as his opportunity to make his big break into Martin O'Neill's plans and he has no doubts about his ability to make an impact.
The Dubliner has impressed this term for a Wolves side that has streaked clear at the top of the Championship.
With a 10-point advantage, the 26-year-old is en route to the Premier League with a dressing-room that has a heavy Portugese influence.
His next target is an international breakthrough with the right full, who also has extensive experience on the left side of defence, sure that he is ready to handle the transition.
Doherty has actually featured mostly as a right wing-back for Wolves this term.
The ex-Bohemians man has been involved in squads under O'Neill, but is yet to get on the pitch at senior level.
"I'm looking at it and thinking, 'I can play in this team' - that's how I feel," said Doherty, speaking to Keith Andrews on his new Newstalk show as he reflected on his brief experiences in camp.
"You're thinking, once you get in with the squad then a lot of good things can happen. Confidence is everything.
"I've never ever doubted that I can do. I'm not big-headed or cocky. I've never ever doubted what I can do. I have confidence in my own game and I can play on either side.
"I played left back for two years before this season. I'm comfortable either side and enjoy both sides - I'm not disgusted by the thought of going to the left side, I like playing there, and I think that would stand me in good stead going forward."
Certainly, the return of Seamus Coleman would limit options on the right side and Doherty knows his versatility would benefit him.
Coleman is working his way back towards full fitness, with no deadline on his comeback.
Doherty has an eye on March's training camp and friendly in Turkey.
"It's an opportunity if I can get in the squad and get a cap and show what I can do," he continued.
"I'm doing everything I can at club level to try and put myself in the window for it. I'll keep doing that. If it happens, it happens and if it doesn't, it doesn't. If I get in there I'll back myself to perform and do good."
Meanwhile, Jon Walters is facing an eight-week lay-off after damaging knee cartilage.
It has scuppered any prospect of the Burnley player leaving on loan during the January transfer window, although it was unclear if his club were willing to respond positively to interest from Sunderland.