Belfast Telegraph

Doyle in line to start for Wolves

Wolves striker Kevin Doyle is winning his battle to be fit for the Barclays Premier League opener with Blackburn at Ewood Park.

Doyle withdrew from the Republic of Ireland squad to face Croatia on Wednesday night with a knee problem, but Wolves boss Mick McCarthy is confident he will be available to face Rovers.

He said: "There's every possible chance Doyle will play. It's nothing sinister or serious and we're hoping he'll play. It's 90-10 (in his favour). He got a kick on the knee at the weekend and felt it Wednesday so it was a precaution (to withdraw from Ireland squad)."

McCarthy is optimistic Wolves will be a bigger force this season - their third in succession in the top flight.

He said: "We're stronger this year. The players have had another year at this level.

"We got through that second year and we had a great season. Despite the nerves on the last day, we got through it.

"I don't always want to keep saying we only want to survive.

"We want to keep finishing as high as we can and keep improving."

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