Matt Doherty backs his former boss Antonio Conte as pressure at Tottenham mounts

Matt Doherty and manager Stephen Kenny during a Republic of Ireland press conference

Aidan Fitzmaurice

MATT DOHERTY has given his backing to his former coach at Tottenham ahead of a likely exit from Spurs for Antonio Conte.

Now in Spain with Atletico Madrid after a deadline day move from Spurs, Doherty has kept an eye on his former club and even though a departure for Conte is expected in the wake of his comments after the weekend draw with Southampton, Doherty would want the former Italy boss to remain on.

"Look, I hope he stays for a long time at Tottenham. He's an unbelievable coach, an unbelievable manager. He won't say anything in the press that he won't say to his players, he's completely honest with his players, has the passion for the whole club," Doherty said at a press conference today.

Doherty has been unable to break into the Atletico side since his sudden move in January but he says he's happy to bide his time and adapt.

"It's going well for me in Spain, it's a different experience completely, different culture, different preparation for games. I'm enjoying my time there even though I'm not playing that much," Doherty said.

"The reason I left was, well initially it was just to go on loan for the rest of the season and then obviously we had the problems with too many loans. "So then it was a case of I couldn't really say no to that type of experience and a manager of his calibre. I always like to challenge myself and be uncomfortable at times and it was a similar case there.

"It is frustrating at times, but I have learned to deal with it. I was at Wolves for a long time where I played every second of every game. I am sure there were players at that time who were trying to get in and were in the same boat. Over time I’ve become more experienced and been able to deal with it a lot better.

“I am there until the end of the season and I am just using it as a learning experience, I am improving by training with world class players every day. I am using the six months I have there to try and get better, to try and understand the game better and improve my overall game.t the time I did have, I just couldn't say no to that opportunity."