Wednesday 13 December 2017

Manager's pet Doyle playing down transfer talk to focus on survival bid

Kevin Doyle is playing down transfer talk. Photo: Getty Images
Kevin Doyle is playing down transfer talk. Photo: Getty Images
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

WHEN a player shines for a lesser club, it's natural that they are linked with the big guns. It's unusual, however, when his manager appears to be keen to fuel the speculation.

Wolves striker Kevin Doyle has been tipped for a move to a big-four side by none other than Mick McCarthy, who has delivered numerous eulogies regarding his expensive summer acquisition.

"It's like he's trying to get rid of me," smiled Doyle yesterday, acknowledging that he is the butt of some dressing-room jokes due to the regularity of the tributes from the boss. "He gives you confidence and says what he thinks. He is pretty straightforward. I just want to be in the Premier League and finish the season well and have no thoughts about anything like that (transfer speculation)."

The Ireland front-man was in relaxed form as he launched the FAI's Summer Soccer Schools in association with An Post at Home Farm. It helps that his employers have managed to pull away from the drop zone in recent weeks, although he is loth to be complacent about their situation -- they are five points clear of the bottom three.

"We're not safe," he said. "At Reading a few years ago, with six games to go, we said we needed one more win. We got that win on the last day of the season but went down on goal difference."

Reading fell away after Christmas back then, but the momentum is with Wolves at the moment and Doyle is confident enough that he will enter his summer holiday -- and wedding preparations -- assured of Premier League football next term.

However, there will be time to watch the World Cup as well and, contrary to many assumptions, he'd be happy enough to see France perform with distinction.

"It would show what we could have done," he said. "I said at the time that I wouldn't watch the World Cup but I've watched every one. Hopefully it will give me that 'I want to be there in four years' time' sort of hunger. I'm not going to be childish and not watch it."

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