The only way is up for Doyle
SOCCER:FOR THOSE who’ve been asking, Kevin Doyle hasn’t gone anywhere. His profile has been lower this year, and if he decides to remain at Wolves it could sink further, but he’s not hiding and – as is the case with a few others – the next few weeks are his chance to put things right.
Doyle was relegated from the Premier League for the second time in his career some weeks ago, adding a demotion with Wolves to the pain he felt when Reading went down in 2008.
The Wexford man saw this one coming, he was just powerless to stop it. It had that car crash feel to it. It all appeared to be happening in slow motion and then it ended with a thud. Now, it’s nice to be somewhere else.
“I would say this is refreshing,” admitted Doyle yesterday. “I had a week off at home to see the family, which was nice. Now the weather is nice, the pitch is lovely, we have new footballs . . . little things. It’s nice to be in a different environment.
“ has not been a shock. We’ve had six weeks to get over it. And in the final weeks it had been inevitable. Not like at Reading, where I had to join up with the Irish squad just after we got relegated. That was tough. That was the worst I’ve felt, I’d say, because that was a shock to the system. This time, we’ve had three years being in and out of the bottom three.”
The Republic of Ireland striker spoke a little like he’d been worn down by it all. Three years is a long time to be fighting the same fight but he’s not ducking the criticism, and is grateful he, Stephen Ward, Stephen Hunt and Kevin Foley still have a chance to end the season on a bit of a high.
“Not one of my best” is how he sums up a season in which he scored four in 26 starts. “Probably didn’t enjoy it from start to finish. It wasn’t great for anyone. I’m glad it’s over and I’m glad this is coming up. It was tough for everyone to get through the last few weeks of the season but at least the four of us had this to keep ourselves fit and train right and stay motivated.”
The good news for Ireland is he has retained his “inner confidence” and will defend his record from the critics and fight for his place in the starting XI against Croatia in Poznan on June 10th.
“Everyone has their opinion. My goal-scoring this year wasn’t good but in the Premier League I’ve always played with teams who are one of the favourites to be relegated. I’ve been top scorer in those teams the majority of the seasons I’ve been there. One of the top scorers in the Championship the two seasons I’ve been there.”