Wolves strong enough to stay up without me, insists injured Doyle

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The Independent Football

Injured wolves striker Kevin Doyle is backing Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Steven Fletcher to provide the quality in his absence to keep Mick McCarthy's side in the Premier League. Doyle could be out for the remainder of the campaign with a knee ligament injury suffered while on duty for the Republic of Ireland at the weekend.

He has often operated as a lone striker for Wolves and has been a key figure in a revival which has brought eight points from four games, but Doyle has faith in Ebanks-Blake and Fletcher to step into his shoes.

Doyle said: "I have no doubt about the quality of Sylvan and Fletch. That's the beauty of having a strong squad. Sylvan and Fletch have had to be patient for a long time but I am sure whoever comes in will do just as good a job – if not better."

Doyle's injury comes at an especially unfortunate time for Wolves as the league season enters a decisive phase. "It's the timing of the injury which is the most disappointing," the 27-year-old said. "To come into the part of the season when we're starting to play really well and looking to get out of the bottom three, it's really frustrating that I'm going to miss out.

"It's the most exciting part of the season for me, particularly with how it's all shaping up in the league. Everything is still there to play for and it's going to be nerve-racking and I wanted to be involved. But I'm really confident the lads will do what it's needed."

Doyle has been ruled out for four to eight weeks but is desperate to play some part before the end of the campaign. He said: "These things happen and it could have been a lot worse. They are saying eight weeks at the worst, and it could have been more serious. If things went really well I could be back in four weeks, where there would still be three or four games left. Whatever happens I'll be trying my best to get as fit as I can and, hopefully, contribute before the end of the season. We'll just have to see but, hopefully, I won't be needed and I won't have to come back at all!"

Meanwhile, John Heitinga insists he is 100 per cent committed to Everton. The Netherlands international has dismissed reports at the weekend he will consider his future with the Merseysiders in the summer. "Of course, I want to play. I always want to play and especially here at Everton, where I am delighted with the way the supporters have taken to me," said the 27-year-old. "I am like every footballer – I want to play regularly and I get frustrated when I am not able to play and help the team.

"The manager can only select 11 players to start each game and I am like every other professional footballer in that I want to be in the team. I have confidence in my own ability in the same way as the other players do at Everton. Every player thinks he should be playing and every player thinks he's better than the competition. If you don't then it shows a lack of self-belief."

Heitinga added: "All I can say is that I love playing at Everton and I love playing for the manager. I am not happy when I am not playing but I haven't met many footballers who are happy when they're not involved.

"The manager has told all the players here that we will get playing time and it's up to us to make the most of it and to take the opportunity. I am nothing less than 100 per cent committed to Everton Football Club and will continue to be the same every time I play."