Michael Doyle: Don’t expect too many goal repeats

Michael Doyle celebrates his goal against the Hawks with Gary Roberts. Picture: Joe Pepler
Michael Doyle celebrates his goal against the Hawks with Gary Roberts. Picture: Joe Pepler
  • Doyle netted twice in his last 95 matches for Sheffield United
  • The midfielder scored 22 goals in 297 appearances for Coventry

As first impressions go, Pompey had recruited themselves a midfielder with an eye for goal.

A welcome introduction – although even its architect believes the Fratton faithful should not to get used to it.

It would be nice to score more goals, but somehow I don’t think I will see that much of the ball with these lads

Michael Doyle

Within three minutes of Michael Doyle’s half-time entrance against the Hawks, the 33-year-old had let fly with a left-foot shot from the edge of the area.

Flashing straight down the middle of the goal, it left Ryan Young with no chance as the Blues hauled themselves level in Saturday’s 1-1 draw.

Nonetheless, it represented a rare occurrence for Doyle, who has netted only twice in his last 95 first-team appearances.

Early in his career, the Irishman once struck five times in a season for Coventry.

The passage of time, however, has ensured these days they are considerably more scarce.

He said: ‘It was one of my first touches for the club and being left-footed fell to me great.

‘I caught another well just afterwards, but was leaning back so that missed by a couple of inches.

‘Hopefully I will have more of an opportunity of that when the season starts – but don’t go expecting!

‘At Coventry I scored quite a few and was a box-to-box player then, but from the time I left there I changed and at Sheffield United was used in a defensive-minded role protecting the back four.

‘It’s a role I enjoy and am now used to so I’m looking forward to challenging for those two slots up for grabs with the way the manager plays in terms of two anchoring behind the three midfielders.

‘It would be nice to score more goals, but somehow I don’t think I will see that much of the ball with these lads!

‘The players in front of me want the ball all of the time and I am only happy to give it to them and let them go and express themselves.

‘When you have those type of players in the team it is always tempting to try to give them the ball anywhere on the pitch.

‘I have scored a few long rangers in the past, but we will see if it happens again.’

Doyle did, however, net the winning penalty against West Ham in a Capital One Cup shoot-out in August last season.

Still, the goal against the Hawks aside, he was impressed with the Blues’ showing in their first match of the Paul Cook reign.

He added: ‘These games are much of a muchness at the minute, it’s just about getting minutes under your belt and everyone getting through them injury-free and gelling as a team.

‘I didn’t really see too much of the first half because we were getting ready, but the second half was a good game and I enjoyed it.

‘We created a lot of chances and hopefully that is the story of the season because that is pretty much how the manager wants to play.

‘Although we haven’t worked on a lot of stuff, he wants to play attacking football and give the players the ball pretty much anywhere on the pitch – then in a matter of a couple of seconds you are creating chances.

‘It’s still early doors in pre-season but hopefully later we will be taking those chances.’