Doherty - Norwich City are on the up

Chris LakeyGary Doherty believes Norwich City can end six years of hurt and re-establish themselves in English football.City's star has fallen dramatically since they slipped out of the Premier League in 2004, but the good times appear to be just around the corner after promotion back to the Championship was secured at the weekend.Chris Lakey

Gary Doherty believes Norwich City can end six years of hurt and re-establish themselves in English football.

City's star has fallen dramatically since they slipped out of the Premier League in 2004, but the good times appear to be just around the corner after promotion back to the Championship was secured at the weekend. It ended a long slide down the ladder, but Doherty believes a mental corner has been turned, and that City can look forward to a bright future.

'I guess if you are used to losing all the time it's a hard thing to get away from,' said the Canaries' centre-half.

'The lads that came down from the Premiership, we wanted to get straight back up and we only finished ninth that season, so that was disappointing and then you are on a run, you are in a rut.

'I think we're out of the rut now and we are looking forward to it.'

Personnel changes are inevitable, and Doherty - a veteran of City campaigns in three different divisions - believes there is one good example to follow.

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'I think we need to make a few signings in the summer because it is a tough league but I think we are well prepared,' he said. 'Our mentality has changed, we've got a winning mentality now.

'Obviously when we came down from the Premiership we were pretty much losing every week and it's hard to then change your mentality. But I think we have to look at teams like Leicester.

'They were terrific, they ran away with this league last year and then to go into the Championship and perform as well as they have done - I think they are our yardstick, which we have got to match.'

Doherty believes anyone who doubts the depth of strength in League One needs only look at the teams that could miss out on automatic promotion.

'It's a great achievement,' he said. 'You look at teams like Southampton, and they're not going up, and Charlton and Leeds who have struggled at times.

'It proves it is a really tough league and in some ways you are glad teams like that are in this league because it shows that it is not easy.

'If they weren't in the league everyone might think, 'oh, Norwich should stroll it', but it is certainly not like that.

'There are a lot of good teams in this league and that does show. But I think we are the best team - and it shows.'

With promotion guaranteed, City need just one more point to be mathematically certain of the title - and of putting the first medal in the Doherty trophy cabinet.

'This is the first time in my career,' he said. 'At Tottenham we didn't get promotion and at Luton we didn't get promotion, so this is the first real title shot I've had.

'We have to finish the job now. We have one hand on the trophy and it is all about getting those points and we have a great chance at home to Gillingham.

'It was great to clinch promotion at Charlton because a few of us came here on the last day of last season and got relegated, so it is a great feeling to come here and clinch promotion and more or less have one hand on the trophy.

'It hit us hard really because it got us relegated, so it was nice to go back and clinch promotion with three games to go.'

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