Friday 28 October 2016

Doyle and Pompey up for Premier battle

Michael Doyle
Michael Doyle

Former Ireland international Michael Doyle insists that the big gap between his fourth-tier side and Premier League opposition in the FA Cup today won't be a concern.

Doyle is a key man in midfield for League Two side Portsmouth for their FA Cup tie at home to Bournemouth, Pompey earning their place in the fourth round with a win over Ipswich Town in the last round, so Pompey have shown they can defeat a side from a higher division, though taking on Eddie Howe's side is a big challenge.

"You're going to be right up against it if you're a League Two side taking on Premier League players. We'll be big underdogs at Fratton Park today, but it's a test we're going to embrace," says Dubliner Doyle, capped once at senior level by Brian Kerr in 2004.

"Our focus has always been trying to get the club out of this division, so this game is a nice bonus for us and we can play with the pressure off.

"The fact we're at home with a large and vocal crowd behind us should give us a better chance of causing an upset. Everybody's desperate to be involved - especially after the disappointment of losing to Oxford in the league last week. And even though you want to appear in every game, Bournemouth at home for a place in the fifth round of the FA Cup is extra special."

Uncapped Irish midfielder Eunan O'Kane hopes to get the nod for the Cherries as boss Howe plans to make changes to his team.

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