Doyle frustrated by red card
Kevin Doyle was disappointed by the red card he received in the Republic of Ireland's 2-1 Euro 2012 qualifying win over Armenia on Tuesday. Doyle was sent off for the first time in his professional career after Spanish referee Eduardo Iturralde Gonzalez, who had earlier booked him for a rash challenge, ruled he had elbowed Armenia's Karlen Mkrtchyan. Doyle, whose marching orders arrived nine minutes from time, left the pitch bemused, and was still protesting his innocence long after the final whistle. He said: "I jump the same every time, I don't ever deliberately go up to hurt anyone when I go up for a header, and I didn't hurt him. "If anything, I barely touched him and he made the most of it. "It's the first time since I was about 12. There's a first time for everything. "It's frustrating, but we are through, we are in the play-offs and we are one of the top seeds." Doyle, whose initial booking would have ruled him out of the first leg of the play-offs anyway, will now be a frustrated bystander as Giovanni Trapattoni's men attempt to edge closer to next summer's finals in Poland and the Ukraine. With skipper Robbie Keane facing a race against time to shake off the muscle injury which sidelined him last night, Trapattoni could be without both of his first-choice strikers for the opening game. However, on the evidence of Tuesday night, he does have genuine options. In Keane's absence, Trapattoni chose to start with Simon Cox, who has been unable to command a place in the West Brom starting line-up in recent weeks, rather than club-mate Shane Long, who has enjoyed an impressive start to life in the Premier League. As so often in the past, the manager's judgment proved sound with Cox turning in a fine display, while Jonathan Walters also impressed with a cameo from the bench as Long sat out the entire 90 minutes. Only time will tell what Trapattoni does next month, but Cox was happy simply to have given him something to think about. He said: "All I could do was to play well and give the manager food for thought, and I hope I have done that. "The next game is the next game and things can happen between now and then. If he decides it's not me, then I will be grateful to be involved and I will be applauding the players who do play."
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