Doyle: No-one can match Robbie
Published 30/05/2014 | 07:12
Ireland striker Kevin Doyle has admitted that Robbie Keane's "incomparable" goalscoring exploits may never be beaten.
The 33-year-old LA Galaxy hitman has scored a record 62 senior international goals in his 131 appearances for Ireland, 16 more than the total claimed by the remainder of the current squad.
However, Keane will not meet up with his team-mates until they head to America next week, and that means there will be opportunities for others to stake a claim when Ireland face Italy at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
But Doyle said: "No-one in the world is really going to match Robbie's record - or very, very few ever - so you are comparing us against someone who has a record that is incomparable to 99 per cent of strikers in the world.
"Even the best strikers in the world don't have his goalscoring record at international level, so realistically we are not going to match that.
"But we can bring other things to the team and other things to the pitch that maybe he can't. But his record is as good as there is ever going to be, really.
"I can't see anyone ever beating it coming after us. You never say never, but for someone to beat that record, I think, is going to be some feat.
"For us, it's just to bring whatever we have to the table as much as we can."
Doyle, whose return of 12 goals in 57 appearances is the next best in Martin O'Neill's squad, is back on the international stage after reviving his career with Sky Bet Championship play-off winners QPR, and he is confident there is strike-power available to the manager even without Keane.
Hull frontman Shane Long started against Turkey on Sunday evening and Stoke's Jon Walters scored his side's goal in the 2-1 defeat after coming off the bench.
Doyle said: "Longy played up front on his own - he has scored a number of goals for Ireland; I have got a number of goals for Ireland; Jon Walters has a number of goals for Ireland, so it's all just about chipping in."
Having joined QPR on loan from Wolves in January, Doyle played his part in their return to the Barclays Premier League, although he met up with Ireland on Thursday admitting he does not know what the future holds for him.
Asked if he had been offered anything by Rangers boss Harry Redknapp, the 30-year-old, who has a year remaining on his contract at Molineux, said: "No, there's nothing, nothing said, nothing guaranteed. It was basically just, 'Well done, we'll see in the summer'. Who knows?
"I did enjoy it a lot. I'm not the only one, there are a lot of players out of contract who might not be back or weren't sure whether they would be back next season who were playing on Saturday, so a lot of us were in a similar situation.
"I really enjoyed it, so whether I'm back there or not, it [securing promotion] was a good feeling."