Browne hoping to feature in Ireland’s Euro 2020 push
Alan Browne hopes to feature in the Republic of Ireland's crucial Euro 2020 qualifying showdowns with Georgia and Switzerland after scoring against Bulgaria.
The 24-year-old Preston midfielder marked a rare start for his country with the opening goal – his first in the green jersey – in a 3-1 friendly victory to confirm his return to contention after a series of niggling injuries.
Browne has made only one appearance to date in the Group D campaign, a cameo as a second-half substitute in Thursday night’s 1-1 draw with the Swiss in Dublin, but is ready to play his part if called upon in either Tbilisi or Geneva next month as qualification reaches crunch point.
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He said: “I think I’ve given my all on the pitch and that’s all anyone can ever do. I don’t think I’ll be going straight into the team or anything, I don’t expect that.
“But people get injured or suspended, you’ve got to be ready to go. Hopefully I’ve put a doubt in his (boss Mick McCarthy’s) mind and we’ll see where I go from here.”
Nine men have started each of the five qualifiers to date while 10 more have been involved in home and away wins over Gibraltar, victory against Georgia in Dublin and draws with Denmark and the Swiss.
McCarthy is unlikely to make radical changes in October although he will have to make at least one alterations against the Georgians with first-choice left-back Enda Stevens suspended.
Ireland will travel boosted by the Danes’ goalless draw in Georgia, but aware that life will be just as difficult for them at the Boris Paichadze Stadium.
Nevertheless, excitement is mounting within the squad as they target a third-successive trip to the European finals.
Browne added: “We know we’ve got to go over there and get results in both games – that’s what we hope to do.”
Punters looking to use their free bet can back McCarthy to guide the Irish to the Euro 2020 finals.