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Brady 'over the moon' to be finally back in the Burnley starting XI after frustrating period

The Ireland midfielder made his first start of the season over the weekend.

The 27-year-old lining out against Leicester City on Saturday.
The 27-year-old lining out against Leicester City on Saturday.
Image: Nigel French

IT WASN’T LONG ago that Robbie Brady was considered a key player for the Republic of Ireland. 

The Dubliner started all four of the games at Euro 2016, and produced one of the great moments in Irish sporting history with his late header to beat Italy in Lille. 

However, Brady, now 27, has missed 11 of the 17 international matches over the past 18 months due to a series of injuries. 

The latest setback saw the Burnley midfielder sidelined due to a fractured rib, which he describes as a “freak injury”, picked up during the final pre-season friendly against Parma. 

Despite making two appearances as a late substitute before the international break, he was left out of Mick McCarthy’s squad for the Euro 2020 qualifying double-header away to Georgia and Switzerland. 

On Saturday, Brady was handed his first start of the season — for club or country — away to high-flying Leicester City. 

And the St Kevin’s Boys product came through 65 minutes before being replaced by Aaron Lennon in the 2-1 defeat. 

I was over the moon to be back in the starting XI,” said Brady told the club’s website

“It’s been a bit disappointing with the freak injury I got in pre-season, which wasn’t ideal.

“Just getting back to the level where I feel I’m at now has been good. I enjoyed being back out there and as a team I think we did well.”

republic-of-ireland-v-gibraltar-uefa-euro-2020-qualifying-group-d-aviva-stadium Brady celebrating a goal for Ireland against Gibraltar earlier this year. Source: Niall Carson

On Chris Wood’s late equaliser that was ruled out by VAR eight minutes from the time, Brady added: 

“When decisions go upstairs like that and they’re made it’s awful to be on the bad side of it. These things are going to happen, and we’ll pull ourselves together and go again.

“To come away with no points is disappointing; but to be competing again.

“In the last few minutes we were putting on a lot of pressure, which is a good sign. The lads were excellent in piling the pressure on. It just wasn’t to be.

I think Leicester will be right up there this season, the way they have started and the way they have been playing.

“We counter-acted what they were trying to do well and kept them shut out for most of the game.

“A couple of small details cost us in the end but coming and competing against every team we play against is good for us and will keep us with the right momentum going forward.”

Brady’s return to the Clarets’ starting line-up is welcome news for Ireland fans, who will be hoping he is recalled to the squad for next month’s winner-takes-all clash with Denmark in Dublin. 

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Ben Blake

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