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Monday 22 January 2018

Euro 2012: Kevin Doyle not taking place for granted

Kevin Doyle believs his starting place at Euro 2012 is not assured as Giovanni Trapattoni reconsiders his tactics
Kevin Doyle believs his starting place at Euro 2012 is not assured as Giovanni Trapattoni reconsiders his tactics

KEVIN Doyle will not believe he is in the starting line-up for Ireland's Euro 2012 opener against Croatia until manager Giovanni Trapattoni names his team.

Trapattoni revealed at the weekend that the side he fielded in Hungary on Monday will almost certainly be the one which starts in Poznan on Sunday evening. Doyle got the nod to partner skipper Robbie Keane in attack at the Ferenc Puskas Stadium, as he has done so often in the recent past, but he is taking nothing for granted.

Told Trapattoni has named him in the side, the 28-year-old said: "Did he? I don't know, I will wait until he names it the day before, but hopefully so."

He added: "I feel good, I feel sharp, as all of us do, and I just can't wait for it to get started.

"I still want to train well this week - I won't be doing anything different just because he said I may or may not play."

The Wolves frontman's caution may be well-founded with an unhappy Trapattoni admitting in the wake of the 0-0 draw with Hungary that he may have to have a re-think about his tactical approach against teams fielding only one striker.

He has tried to play Keane in the hole in the recent past but the experiment was not a complete success, and the Italian knows a solution must be found and found quickly.

Doyle and his team-mates boarded the plane for Poland shortly after the final whistle on Monday night and spent their first day at their Gdynia training base on Tuesday. The first members of the squad met up in Malahide on May 17 with the remainder joining them three days later, and they are already into their third week together.

In the circumstances, the opening fixture cannot come quickly enough, and Doyle admits that yearning dates back even further, to the play-off triumph over Estonia which booked Ireland's place at the tournament.

He said: "It's been a long time since November, talking forward and back about playing Croatia, Italy and Spain, so I just want it to start."

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