Doyle: Play-off win was great – but Pompey title triumph was best feeling ever

Michael Doyle holds aloft the League Two trophy
Michael Doyle holds aloft the League Two trophy
Niko Kranjcar. Picture: Joe Gidden/ PA Images

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Michael Doyle told of his pride after captaining Coventry to League Two play-off success but admitted: Winning the title with Pompey was a better feeling.

The Irishman led the Sky Blues to a 3-1 victory over Exeter at Wembley on Monday.

Coventry City's Michael Doyle lifts the trophy after his side win promotion to League One

Coventry City's Michael Doyle lifts the trophy after his side win promotion to League One

After a goalless first half, three goals in 19 minutes from Jordan Willis, Jordan Shipley and Jack Grimmer secured Mark Robins’ side’s an immediate return to the third tier.

The triumph was the second time Doyle was promoted from the Football League’s basement division in as many seasons.

He skippered Paul Cook’s Pompey to the League Two crown in 2017, following the 6-1 win over Cheltenham on the final day of the campaign.

Although the former Sheffield United midfielder was elated to win the play-offs with Coventry, he revealed clinching the title was more satisfying.

And he saluted his former Fratton Park team-mates, calling them one of the best side’s he’s ever played in.

Doyle told Sky Sports: ‘It was a great performance and we worked so hard.

‘The tactics the manager and the coaches gave us worked.

‘Last year I was fortunate to play for one of the best teams I’ve ever played for.

‘We had an unbelievable manager and players. We ended up winning the league and it was the best feeling ever.

‘But if you can do it like this it’s the next best thing.

‘We’d all love to do it on the last day of the season. But this is the most nervous thing you can do.

‘We were that team who came to form at the end of the season.

‘Nobody expected us to do it. We did it at Notts County and we played brilliant.

‘We have good young players who are good with the ball and can hurt teams and we showed that.’

After Coventry dropped to the lowest divison in the Football League, they secured promotion the first time of asking.

And Doyle, who will return to Fratton Park next season, insists the Sky Blues can continue their march up the divisions.

He added: ‘This club has had so many downs through the years.

‘This is just the starting point for this club to build.

‘We’ve got the right people on the field that want to play here and the fans can feel it.

‘There’s things building with the players and the fans and it means so much to us.

‘We’ve got to keep that bubbling and go again.’