Wolves' Kevin Doyle feels the pain of Ireland axe

Sport | Published:

Wolves striker Kevin Doyle today revealed his pain after being axed from the Republic of Ireland squad – by text.

Republic boss Giovanni Trapattoni omitted Doyle from the final 23-man party for a World Cup qualifying double header.

They play Sweden away on Friday before Tuesday's visit of Austria, with Doyle omitted because of a lack of confidence after moves to other teams had broken down.

One such move, to Celtic in January, didn't happen because Wolves wouldn't allow him to go out on loan as they had no time to sign a replacement before the transfer window shut.

Yesterday Celtic boss Neil Lennon said he would consider trying to sign Doyle again in the summer when he declared: "I'll think about it. I feel Kevin would be an ideal foil for Gary Hooper and Anthony Stokes."

But, his club future aside, the 53-capped forward has vowed to put the disappointment of failing to be selected at international level for the first time in seven-and-a-half years behind him and continue to do his best for Wolves to win his place back.

The 29-year-old found out after Saturday's 2-1 win against Bristol City that he hadn't made the squad, along with Wolves team-mate Stephen Ward – ironically after ending his 15-match drought with the winner for his sixth club goal of the season.

Doyle captained his country on his last international start against Oman last September, after coming off the bench to score a last-gasp winner in the World Cup qualifier in Kazakhstan.

He said: "I was very disappointed to get the text message telling me not to travel particularly after such a good game with Wolves, and you quickly go from one extreme to another.


"But that's football – I'm not going to cry about it, just get on with it and, hopefully, get back in the squad.

"I thought I might get a phone call but it wasn't to be and I haven't spoken to the manager. Maybe he'll speak to me about it in the future but for now I just have to get on with it.

"I have been in squads for seven-and-a-half years and certainly never took it for granted and have always found it a great pleasure and privilege to play for my country.

"I feel I have always given 100 per cent in terms of showing the right attitude and dedication in every training session and every match, as I do here at Wolves.


"I'll carry on doing that and, hopefully, get another opportunity to do that again in the future."

Meanwhile, Doyle revealed his delight at scoring the winner - before kicking over the corner flag in celebration - on Saturday.

He also admitted his pride after being handed the skipper's armband by boss Dean Saunders, in place of the dropped Karl Henry.

"I was delighted with the goal and think it showed in my celebration!" said Doyle, who kicked over the corner flag in celebration.

Doyle said: "I'm very privileged to be captain of Wolves, even if it was stand-in captain – it's always an honour.

"I was delighted to have the honour and even more delighted I scored what would prove to be the winning goal.

"At least we got a win at home which we haven't done for a while and under the pressure of the situation it was massive for us."

Doyle added: "It was a high-pressure situation on Saturday. At half-time we were massively under the cosh and massively under pressure.

"It was tough being in that situation but thankfully we turned it around in the second-half. In the first-half, it was probably as low as we were going to get with going behind and then losing two players to injury."

Wolves have taken seven points from four games but remain second from bottom, a point from safety with eight matches left.

Doyle claimed there was no chance of getting carried away.

He said: "We have won two of our last four games and taken seven points, but I'm not making any big statements or saying this is a turning point – we just have to keep working hard.

"We need four or five more wins. It's not been good enough and we know that. But we're still giving it our all, as the comeback on Saturday showed."

Doyle insisted the players are trying as hard as they can to turn around a wretched season, and rounded on any suggestion that they were not trying.

He confessed: "It's been difficult for us and it's difficult for the fans to watch. I don't know what it looks like from a fans' point of view but maybe they think we're not up for it and not trying. That's not the case.

"We have just not played well enough and, in the situation we're in, it's tough to play good football.

"We just have to fight for our lives and it wasn't pretty on Saturday but we came away with the win after people were probably writing us off at half time."

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.


Top Stories


More from the Express & Star

UK & International News