EOIN Doyle reckons Wanderers have “turned a corner” despite being forced into a replay by non-league Stockport County in the FA Cup.

The Irish striker grabbed a sixth goal of the season – and his first from open play since the end of August – in the 2-2 draw at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Wanderers had started the month with a win at Rochdale in the Papa John’s Trophy and Doyle feels there is renewed confidence in the group after the two games.

“When you have had a month like us, every game is important for confidence,” he said. “We applied ourselves right on Tuesday and there has been good rotation in the squad.

“Had it not been for two mistakes this would have been a comfortable win so I think there’s a feeling there we have turned a bit of a corner.

“I think we did well first half but maybe a bit lethargic second half. We weren’t our usual selves but they did a good job, they were organised and made it difficult. A replay it is, I’m looking forward to it.”

Wanderers dropped into the bottom half of the League One table during a difficult October and Doyle accepts confidence took a hit in the dressing room.

“It was a bit like the first half of last season, not ideal,” he said. “But there were some games early on where we should have won and didn’t get the results. That knocked our confidence a bit.

“Tuesday we turned it on at Rochdale and today we were dominant for good spells. Just mistakes for the two goals.”

But after scoring from the penalty spot in midweek, Doyle ended a long wait for a goal in open play by finishing off a superb first half move against County. And the 33-year-old admitted he could have had more after the break.

“It was brilliant, the run from Izzy, Dapo’s pass,” he said after the final whistle. “Me and Izzy have got a bit of a history in those situations, so he put it on a plate for me.

“Second half there was a great ball in to my head but it came in very slow and if it was Baka (Amadou Bakayoko) he would have finished it no problem, he is stronger in the air, but I put what I could on it but it was a good save.”

Former Wanderers captain Antoni Sarcevic did not feature, just two weeks after his shock departure to Stockport on a free transfer.

Doyle was surprised at the speed of the move – and speculated that there could have been a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ between the two clubs which stopped the midfielder from featuring.

“He is a good friend of mine. I think there was an agreement that he wasn’t going to play, I don’t know, but I wish him all the best, definitely,” he said.

“It was very quick, very sudden. And with the window being closed it was something I have never seen before. But football is a mad old sport and they say a week is a long time in this sport. But life goes on, we move on.

“It is a young squad here and George Thomason gets that opportunity – I think he will be a big player for us, going forward.”

Doyle hopes to come up against Sarcevic in the replay, which will be played on Tuesday or Wednesday (November 16/17) at Edgeley Park.

“It will be great to get a bit of banter,” he said. “I hope he does play because it would be good for him.

“I hope he’d get a good reception as well because he did well for this club. He led us from day one and captained the club through some tough times – it was hard in that first few months but he got through it with us all.”