Ireland's Alan Browne wants to consolidate reputation as a goalscoring midfielder

The Preston player registered his first goal for his country last night.

Ireland's Alan Browne scores his side's first goal.
Ireland's Alan Browne scores his side's first goal.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

MORE SO THAN most midfielders, Alan Browne knows where the goal is.

The 24-year-old managed to find the net 12 times in 38 appearances for Preston in the Championship last season.

And last night, on his fifth cap — his fourth against Switzerland lasted a matter of seconds as he replaced David McGoldrick in second-half stoppage time — he scored his first senior international goal.

While the Corkonian has developed a reputation for spectacular long-range efforts at Preston, on this occasion, it was a simple tap-in, after Ronan Curtis’ shot was parried and Scott Hogan turned the rebound across the area and into his path.

“I didn’t have to do too much for it,” he says. “It was obviously a fantastic feeling for me and hopefully it’s something I can [do more].

“The gaffer’s always on to me about running in behind and getting myself in the box. That’s the way you score goals, and thankfully I was in the right place at the right time to finish it off.”

Ireland’s goalscoring issues, both under Martin O’Neill and into the current regime, have been well-documented.

Last night was the first time the team managed three goals in a single game since defeating Uruguay at the Aviva back in June 2017, despite playing Gibraltar twice since then.

Browne, with his eye for a goal, is hopeful he can continue to rectify this issue in the future.

“I’ve played further forward with my club than I did [last night], but I don’t mind playing anywhere on the pitch. As long as I’m out there, I’m happy to play.

“We have struggled to create goals and score goals. I know myself I have got a goal in my locker. Every time I put on the shirt, I look to show that. I try to get on the end of things.” 

He continues: “Anytime an opportunity comes along whether it’s in the box or outside the box, I just try to hit the target. Some go in, some don’t.

As a midfielder, you always have to gamble in the box. Four times out of five, you might not get on the end of things, but you’ve got to be in the right place at the right time and that proved to be the case tonight.

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“But it’s only a first goal for my country. It’s one thing to do it at Championship level, it’s another thing to do it at international level. Time will tell whether I can keep up the goalscoring habits.”

And does Browne believe he has done enough to force his way into the manager’s plans for Ireland’s upcoming climactic Euro 2020 group qualifiers?

“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.

“The boys have done fantastically in the campaign so far and they deserve their spots in the team. But people get injured or suspended, you’ve got to be ready to go. Hopefully I’ve put a doubt in [Mick McCarthy's] mind and we’ll see where I go from here.”

With the warm-up games out of the way, Murray, Bernard and Gavan discuss the renewed cause for optimism, impressive individual player form, and a potential quarter-final versus either South Africa or New Zealand.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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