x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Doyle eyes Europe rather than survival

The Wolves striker wants his new team to aim for Europe this season rather than aiming to beat relegation.

Kevin Doyle signed up for Wolves' widely anticipated battle against relegation today and then told his new teammates to defy the doubters and aim for Europe. The Republic of Ireland striker has joined the English Premier League new boys from Reading for an undisclosed fee, thought to be a club-record sum in the region of £6.5 million (Dh39.6m). He will form an intriguing partnership with Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, the duo were prolific in the Championship last season scoring 43 goals between them. Many will look to them to keep Wanderers' heads above water in a fiercely competitive top flight, however Doyle believes Mick McCarthy's side can set their sights higher than mere survival. "We finished a point or maybe even a goal away from Europe when we went up with Reading," he said on the club's website.

"I don't know why we did so well but we all went in there wide-eyed and excited and fresh to play and that got us through. "It was a bit like it is with Wolves now in that none of us had played in the Premier League before. "I'm delighted to be joining what is historically a massive club and one which will be trying to establish itself in the Premier League." According to Wolves they beat off competition from other top-flight clubs to recruit the 25-year-old, who has signed a four-year contract at Molineux. A delighted McCarthy enthused: "I think it's a huge signing for the football club and it's a coup.

"For us to secure the signing is brilliant and there might be one or two others scratching their heads and wondering why they didn't do it, but perhaps that's because we were in there from the start." Doyle, who signed for the Royals from Cork for a nominal fee in 2005, scored 55 goals in 163 games for the Berkshire club. The Irishman revealed he had been impressed by the swiftness of Wolves' approach. "Wolves were the first club that actually came in and settled things with Reading and so they were the first club I spoke to," Doyle said. "I was expecting a long summer but Wolves were in straight away. "It was nice to see how keen they were and when I came in and met the manager I just got on really well with him. I had a good easy conversation with him and it felt right.

"I spoke to the manager and chief executive over a week ago and came to the training ground to see everything. "I've been making my mind up over the last couple of weeks and am just really pleased the decision has been made. "The facilities here are top class and it's great to be going back into the Premier League again. "I'm sad to be leaving Reading because I had some great years there but I'm going with their blessing as well which is nice. This is a fresh start." Despite losing one of their star men, Reading's director of football Nick Hammond claimed it was a good deal for the club.

"He has arguably been one of the club's best ever signings, in terms of what he produced on the pitch, the value for money he gave us, and now the fact he has been sold for a club-record fee," he said. "The point in time arrived where it was the right opportunity for him and the right deal for the club as well." *PA Sport