Doyle lifts lid on surprise Pompey exit

Michael Doyle lifted the lid on his shock Pompey departure and insisted: It was time to be selfish.

Thursday, 11th May 2017, 5:52 pm
Updated Friday, 12th May 2017, 1:05 pm
Michael Doyle. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Blues’ skipper yesterday joined Coventry – five days after capturing the League Two title.

Paul Cook had told the 35-year-old he wanted him to remain part of his League One plans next season.

However, with no deal tabled, Doyle elected to swiftly secure his future at the Ricoh Arena rather than spending a summer waiting on Blues terms.

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It brings down the curtain on a two-year Fratton Park association which produced 96 appearances and three goals.

And, of course, a place in Pompey folklore as a title-winning skipper.

Doyle said: ‘The gaffer said he wanted me there and would try to get something done over the summer, that was it really.

‘I always thought it would be pretty straightforward – get the job done, get promoted and talk contracts.

‘When I went in on Tuesday and saw no contract there, that was it, I walked away thinking this could go on all summer.

‘At Pompey, I’ve obviously seen other players in similar situations to myself ending up not having a contract there. With Coventry’s interest, I didn’t have to wait all summer on Pompey.

‘I thought it was time to do what’s best for me for once, be a little bit selfish and look after myself and my family.

‘Coventry expressed they really wanted me, but how long is a piece of string? How long do you leave them waiting before they move onto somebody else? That’s the way football is.

‘I’m not having a pop at Pompey, but there wasn’t really a decision to be made because there was no contract on the table to consider.

‘I’ve done a lot of travelling over the last few years to Sheffield and Pompey, it’s been hard. My family are in the Midlands and it takes its toll.

‘The deal with Coventry was agreed pretty quickly. The manager seemed like he was desperate to get me, so I thought “Let’s go for it”.

‘Being out of contract, there was always a chance Cheltenham was going to be my last game.

‘I’m actually not one of those players who think about that sort of thing, I was focused on the job in hand.

‘And what a way to go out.’

Doyle arrived at Fratton Park in July 2015 following his release from Sheffield United.

He missed two league games during the next two campaigns, picking up the first silverware of his career in the process.

He added: ‘There are some great people at the club.

‘I had a good chat with Mark Catlin yesterday and cannot speak highly enough of the man.

‘It is a fantastic football club with wonderful fans and my time there will always remain special.

‘Thank you to them, their support has always been outstanding.’