WOLVES manager Mick McCarthy believes Kevin Doyle is ready to put a series of niggling injuries behind him after getting his Wolves career up and running with a first goal at the weekend against Fulham on Sunday.
The £6.5 million (€7.1m) summer signing from Reading scored a close-range header in Sunday’s 2-1 victory over the Cottagers.
It was Doyle’s fifth appearance for Wolves and McCarthy admitted it was good for the Republic of Ireland international to have got up and running on the goalscoring front.
“It’s brilliant for Kev. He’s a Premier League striker and a Premier League goalscorer,” said McCarthy.
“Unfortunately when we took him he had a hernia and he’s never been fit, even yesterday.
“He has been getting his fitness on the hoof a little bit in training and in games but he has not been fit enough in games.
“It is great for him to get his first goal and that will help his confidence – not that he lacks self-belief.
“It is more to do with the acceptance of him by everyone at the football club as a centre-forward who is a big signing and who has to score goals.
“He has not been fit enough in games, but he is getting there and it’s great for him to get this goal.’’
Doyle, whose partnership up front with fellow Irishman Andy Keogh looks like it could be a fruitful one, was obviously pleased to get off the mark.
The 26-year-old has benefited from the injury-enforced absence of Sylvan Ebanks-Blake to start the last four matches.
However, last season’s top scorer returned as a late substitute on Sunday and the Irishman knows he cannot afford to relax.
“I’m delighted, There has been a lot of frustration the last four or five months with niggly injuries and not getting a run of games but I’ve played a few games now and to win this one was massive,” he said.
“Andy and I know each other and we are putting in the shifts let me tell you but we realise there are lots of strikers at this club which keep you on your toes.
“Sylvan and Stefan Maierhofer came off the bench so it is very difficult and whoever plays will put in a good performance.
“Everyone has to work hard to keep their place, not just the strikers.”
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