Wednesday 21 March 2018

'Doyle is not himself'

Kevin Doyle has been left out of the Ireland squad
Kevin Doyle has been left out of the Ireland squad
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

GIOVANNI Trapattoni has dropped Kevin Doyle from the Ireland squad because he believes the player is struggling with his confidence and has been affected by aborted attempts to leave Wolves.

The Wexford native was a shock omission from the Italian's finalised 23-man squad for Friday's crucial trip to Stockholm and the subsequent Lansdowne Road encounter with Austria. Trapattoni has preferred Derby's Conor Sammon and also called in Andy Keogh from outside his provisional 29-man list because he can provide wing cover for the injured Aiden McGeady.

After the team's first training session in Malahide, Trapattoni explained his reasons for omitting Doyle, who was his first-choice striker going into Euro 2012.

"It hasn't been a particular happy time for him," said Trapattoni. "He was not in the team at Wolves, and he could also have gone to other teams but it didn't happen."

Doyle, who was close to joining Celtic on loan in January, was informed of the news via text message. Ironically, he bounced back to form on Saturday by scoring the winner in a badly needed victory over Bristol City, but that did not convince Trapattoni that Doyle (left) is back to himself.

"In this moment, we have the players who give us a little bit more confidence. You can see, when he received the ball, he's not himself at this moment. I wish to help him but at this moment we need to change the team," he said.

Meanwhile, Trapattoni, who turned 74 yesterday, has dismissed reports from France which suggested that he could be a target for Montpellier in the summer, stressing that his dream is to lead Ireland to Brazil.

"That would be fantastic, to go to Rio de Janeiro with Ireland, to see Pele. I am happy to continue here, I want to achieve the qualifying," he stressed.

Nevertheless, the birthday boy acknowledged that a minimum of a point will be required in Sweden on Friday to stay in contention for a play-off place.

Irish Independent

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