Keane impressed by Doyle progress

28 May 2010 07:51
Republic of Ireland skipper Robbie Keane believes Kevin Doyle has developed into a "top player" after an impressive season with Wolves.

The two men led the line for their country during their World Cup qualifying campaign, and while Keane may have found the back of the net more often than his team-mate, he has been hugely impressed by Doyle's development.

Giovanni Trapattoni described the Wolves frontman as one of the best strikers in England, if not Europe, after seeing him score his eighth senior international goal against Paraguay on Tuesday evening, and Keane is also a fan.

He said: "He has progressed, he has become a top player now.

"Considering where he has come from and how he started, to progress from leaving Reading, which I am sure would have been a difficult choice for him because they looked after him very well and Steve Coppell was brilliant to him.

"Then to go on to work for another great manager in Mick McCarthy and be their best player last season, he is certainly progressing and he is becoming a forceful figure in the Premier League."

The 26-year-old played much of last season as a lone striker for his club, and ended the campaign with a relatively modest nine goals.

However, Keane, who will partner Doyle against Algeria at the RDS this evening, knows what he had to sacrifice in his club's cause and is confident he would be more prolific with greater support.

He said: "He can obviously score goals, there's no question. He has shown that over the years he has been in the English league.

"As a striker, it's very difficult sometimes playing up front on your own. You have to do a lot of running for the team because you are up there on your own and sometimes it is very difficult to do that.

"Kevin did that for Wolves last season and we have to judge him on what team he plays for and why teams do that.

"Mick didn't have the resources so he had to go with that, and that's probably why they stayed in the Premier League.

"But if he did play up front maybe with another striker, I am sure he would probably get a lot more goals."

Doyle's form for Wolves has led to speculation that he could be a target for Arsenal this summer, but Keane would not be drawn on that.

He said: "As a player, when you are doing well, there is always speculation and the season Kevin had last season, there are going to be people taking about him.

"But he has done a tremendous job with Wolves and he is a Wolves player, so I don't really want to comment on that."

The two men will be joined on the pitch tonight by 19-year-old Manchester City full-back Greg Cunningham, who will make his senior international debut as Derby midfielder Paul Green wins a first start.

Source: Team_Talk

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
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