Judge: 'If I do what I’ve been doing at my club then I’ll give myself every chance for the summer'

Brentford’s in-form midfielder is planning to force his way into Martin O’Neill’s Euro 2016 plans by flourishing in his debut.

Judge enjoying today's session.
Judge enjoying today's session.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

ALAN JUDGE IS ENJOYING a season to remember at club level but says his exploits for Brentford would be trumped by a first senior appearance for Ireland.

14 goals and 10 assists in 26 games for the Bees mean the midfielder is one of the Championship’s best players on current form.

He has been knocking on Martin O’Neill’s door with his displays this term and finally looks set to make his senior bow during one of the latest two Dublin friendlies — against Switzerland (Friday) and Slovakia (Tuesday, 29 March).

“I’ve been here the last two or three squads so I’m getting closer each time,” said Judge on Tuesday. “If I get a minute on the pitch I’ll be delighted.

“The best thing you can do as a player is to play for your country. I’ll savour every minute of it if I get the chance.

“I got on the bench against Bosnia in the first game and it was great to be a part of. I’ve heard the manager say maybe I’ll start one of these games. It’s what you want to hear so I’ll definitely be looking forward.

It’s one I’ve been waiting for and if I get the chance to get on the pitch it would be great. As the manager said before, just do what you do at your own club and don’t try do anything outrageous.”

Players hoping to make enough of an impact to be named in the final 23-man panel for France are running out of time to stake their claim with just these two matches and a friendly against the Dutch in May scheduled.

It’s a fact Judge is well aware of, but he has confidence in his own ability.

“I’m looking ahead to the summer,” he adds. “I feel I’ve done myself well this year. I’ve scored a few goals and I’m doing okay but I’ve got to do it here and just enjoy it really. I’ll play my normal game and if that’s good enough then it is.”

Queens Park Rangers v Brentford - Sky Bet Championship - Loftus Road Judge has 14 goals and 10 assists this season. Source: Scott Heavey

A switch from holding midfielder to a more attacking role has seen his goalscoring stats jump by 11 goals in the space of a season.

On his rich vein of form, Judge said: “Last year I played more as a defensive midfielder alongside (former Ireland international) Jonathan Douglas. I’m in a totally different position this year as I’ve played more off the striker.

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“I’ve managed to get in the right positions and everything I hit is going in at the moment so I’ve been quite lucky.

“I know it’s a different standard but if I can do what I’ve been doing at my club then I think I’ll give myself every chance for the summer.”

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Ben Blake

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