Doyle eager to get minutes under belt

Virtually every other Premier League manager has bemoaned this

week’s round of international fixtures, which take place just three

days prior to the start of the new top-flight campaign, with all

hoping their players do not pick up any injuries. McCarthy, though,

has bucked the trend as he is desperate for Doyle to figure at some

stage of the friendly against Argentina due to a lack of pre-season

action. A tight hamstring forced Doyle out of the July 31 defeat at

Leeds, and although he played three days later in the victory over

Hearts, he sustained a calf injury that sidelined him for

Saturday’s win over Athletic Bilbao. Doyle has since had two scans,

one of which has highlighted some bleeding within the muscle that

makes him a doubt for not only the game with Argentina, but also

Saturday’s season-opener with Stoke at Molineux. “I picked up the

injury in the first few minutes of the game with Hearts and I

thought it was just a dead leg, which you can get in nearly every

game anyway, but it hasn’t settled,” said Doyle. “It’s just

something that has dragged on longer than expected, a slow thing

I’m waiting to clear up. “I’m hoping that with treatment over the

next couple of days, that come tomorrow it feels better and on

Wednesday I can play. “I haven’t played a massive amount of minutes

in pre-season due to a couple of different things, so I need to

play on Wednesday. “But I’m just not sure yet. I know Mick is

looking for me to play because I didn’t play at the weekend and

after missing a week prior to the game with Hearts. “So he’s the

opposite of many of the other managers. He wants to know if I am

going to be all right or not for the weekend, and whether to risk

me.” Even if Doyle does sit out both matches this week, the

26-year-old is not too concerned at the fact he will be lacking

match fitness for the games that follow. “It’s such a long season,

so many games, so I look at it that it will keep me fresh as the

season goes on,” added Doyle. “I’ve done a lot of fitness and

physical work anyway, so missing a couple of games won’t make that

much of a difference. Once you play a game or two it will be fine.”

Doyle, though, is naturally hoping he can face Argentina as the

Republic of Ireland play their first game in the new 50,000-seater

Aviva Stadium in Dublin. “As friendlies go it’s a big one, and I’d

love to be able to play in the first football match there,” said

Doyle. “Friendlies at this stage of the season aren’t the most

important thing on your mind. You’re looking at the start with your

club. “But this game is important for all of us. It’s the start of

a new era in a new stadium.”