Wolves boss Dean Saunders today declared the club will benefit from a ‘fresher’ Kevin Doyle after his snub by the Republic of Ireland this week.
Tonight’s World Cup qualifier away to Sweden and the visit of Austria next Tuesday will be the first time in seven-and-a-half years that Doyle has been excluded from the Ireland squad through anything other than injury.
Wolves team-mate Stephen Ward was also left out of Giovanni Trapattoni’s final 23-man party for the two qualifiers.
Doyle has amassed 53 caps during his time at Reading and Wolves and has often been seen as a talisman for club and country.
Trapattoni said Doyle was omitted in favour of Derby striker Conor Sammon because of his lack of confidence on the pitch and after seeing the club block a loan move to Celtic in January.
Ireland No 2 Marco Tardelli insisted Doyle can win his place in the squad back. And Saunders reckons Wolves can reap the benefit of a refreshed Doyle.
The boss, who has had the players in for training for most of this week, said: "It’s a boost having Doyle and Wardy here.
“They were left out of the national squad which I’m pleased about because I’ve rested Doyle at times and he’s looked fresh.
“He played well when he came on against Cardiff – he looked a different player. From a selfish point of view, I’m glad to have him here and missing out on these Ireland games.
“There is less chance of the pair of them getting injured.”
Doyle seems certain to keep his place for the visit of Middlesbrough in eight days’ time, after his match-winning header that clinched the much-needed 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Bristol City last Saturday.
Ward is available again for the Middlesbrough game after missing the Bristol City match through suspension after he was sent off in the 3-1 defeat at Nottingham Forest.
But his return to left-back is by no means guaranteed after on-loan Liverpool defender Jack Robinson, 19, had his best game since his arrival.