Tuesday 16 January 2018

Raw deal for Doyle

Wexford man substituted early as Irish outclassed

BRENDAN FURLONG Sports reporter

KEVIN DOYLE was left marooned up front but it was still a bizarre decision by manager Giovanni Trapattoni to call him ashore in the second-half of Sunday's Euro 2012 opener.

Playing in his first major championship finals after what was a disappointing season with Wolverhampton Wanderers who were relegated from the Premier Division, Doyle has vowed that Ireland can turn around their disappointment of their 3-1 defeat to Croatia.

As the Republic of Ireland prepare for the most daunting challenge of their ailing Euro 2012 effort, it makes for a major demand, but Doyle - who chased and battled hard when on the pitch - insists that Ireland can measure up to it.

'We'll watch the Spanish tonight (Tuesday). We saw a good bit of them tonight (Sunday) as well so we know we can't feel too down or too depressed because we need to be ready on Thursday.

'It's fine, we're all used to it,' he said of the need to quickly conclude the Croatian post-mortem, which saw a Mario Mandzukic double bookend Nikica Jelavic's second goal to hit Ireland's hopes.

'We play league games sometimes three every week so it's a situation we're used to and it won't be a problem,' Doyle said.

'You have to come out and beat good teams if you want to progress,' he added.

Doyle admitted the timing of two of Ireland's concessions was wicked, with the second goal just before half-time especially damaging.

'Goals any time are disappointing and particularly just before half-time, and just after half-time,' he said.

'It's difficult to take, the fact that our set-pieces are usually very strong in those areas. They had good bits of possession but they scored in areas we're usually good at,' he added.

Doyle regularly found himself being sent on the turn, and on one such occasion it led to an Irish goal. However, the Wolves striker had an energysapping role, but the decision to remove him eight minutes into the second-half was a bizarre one. Up until that point he had tormented centre-backs Corluka and Schildenfeld.

Doyle had enjoyed a good game, causing plenty of problems with his physical strength. He worked the channels well and was unlucky to be taken off before Robbie Keane, as he was having a much better game than the Irish captain and providing a better outlet.

The Irish are going to have to turn quickly around with Spain on Thursday evening and Italy in their final group game next Monday evening. Ireland have got to remain positive if they are to maintain their stay in Poland beyond Monday next.

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