Saturday, May 9, 2009

Coppell blames Doyle's passion for Ireland for dip in club form

Reading manager Steve Coppell attributes Kevin Doyle's significant dip in form to his international exploits with Ireland.

“This is the conflict with international football,” Coppell said “I know how much playing for your country means to players, especially for the Irish boys here at Reading.

“Ireland had some important games and he wanted to play even though he wasn’t fully fit. I couldn’t stop him but it meant he came back to us worse off and we have suffered because of it.

“Saying that, he has got to play for his country. I would never tell anyone not to because it is an honour.

“But after all that has happened, we do feel that we are owed. It is time for him and all the senior players to deliver.”

Doyle played for the first half in today's 1-0 away defeat to Burnley in the Championship semi-final play-off game today.

And Doyle branded himself “stupid” for playing through the pain barrier and now admits a brief rest when the injury first arose would have cured the problem.

“My knee feels so much better now than it has for the last 10 weeks or so,” he said. “It started a few weeks before I last joined up with Ireland towards the end of March and it’s been at me ever since.

“If I had stopped playing then it probably would have been right in no time. But I would have missed Ireland’s games against Italy and Bulgaria which were big World Cup qualifiers, as well as some big ones with Reading.

“But I kept taking painkillers and anti-inflammatories and made it worse. That’s why it’s taken longer to clear up than it should have.”

And he admitted: “It wasn’t anyone’s fault but mine. I just didn’t have a chance to rest it. Looking back now I was stupid. Had I missed one or two games at the time I would have been fine.

“No-one knows I’ve been playing with a sore knee either so I haven’t been doing myself justice. It was stupid of me. At 25 I really should know better and hopefully next time I will.”

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