Doyle upbeat for France play-off

09 November 2009 07:50
Kevin Doyle is optimistic that the Republic of Ireland will earn a place in the World Cup finals by surprising France in the play-offs.Wolves striker Doyle was unruffled when the play-off draw pitted the Irish against the 1998 world champions. [LNB]"We're feeling confident we can win although other people will feel we don't have much chance," said Doyle. [LNB]"There's a reason why they are in the play-off draw because they haven't done well in their group." [LNB]Doyle says he's "looking forward" to matching up against likely French centre-backs William Gallas and Eric Abidal plus other stars such as Thierry Henry, Nicolas Anelka and Lassana Diarra. [LNB]The Irish face the French in the opening leg at Croke Park on Saturday before the return game in Paris four days later. [LNB]"I like to play against the top teams and the best players," added Doyle. [LNB]"We drew with Italy twice (in the group) and we could have easily beaten them. [LNB] I've just gone 26 and I don't know if I'll get another chance to get to a World Cup finals in four years Kevin Doyle "They are the world champions and we can do the same against France. [LNB]"I've played against bigger teams all my life and got results against them. I don't fear them. I'm looking forward to it." [LNB]Doyle believes that the key to the play-off will be the Republic keeping a clean sheet in Saturday's first leg at Croke Park. [LNB]"That would be massive for us. Do that and go to Paris and score a goal there. [LNB]"That's what we're going to have to do to go through." [LNB]Previous Republic of Ireland manager Steve Staunton gave Doyle his debut in March 2006 in a friendly against Sweden. [LNB][LNB] France will definitely score at Croker, we never contain anybody from scoring cotupina187 Staunton's Irish reign is best forgotten but Doyle's emergence was one of the few rays of light for Republic fans during the dismal period. [LNB]"I came in when things weren't going so quite as well as now but I'm used to better results now," added Doyle. [LNB]"It was nice to go unbeaten (in Group 8) and to have some confidence in the side again. [LNB]"Getting to the World Cup would be a dream. [LNB]"I've just gone 26 and I don't know if I'll get another chance in four years. [LNB]"We have the chance to do it now."

Source: BBC_Sport