Keane: Browne fitting in

Alan Browne in action for PNE
Alan Browne in action for PNE
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Preston midfielder Alan Browne has settled well into training with the Republic of Ireland squad, according to Roy Keane.

Browne was a last-minute selection for the Irish squad ahead of three games next month – the first of those in the United States against Mexico.

He has been training with them at Fota Island this week, just down the road from his home city Cork.

The Republic squad at the moment consists mainly of players from Championship clubs, Browne having PNE team-mates Daryl Horgan and Andy Boyle for company.

It will be that group, plus a few others, who will travel to the USA on Monday for the friendly with Mexico.

Keane, No.2 to Irish boss Martin O’Neill, said: “Alan has played international football in the younger age groups and he’s played regularly in the Championship.

“A good percentage of our players are Championship players so there’s no reason why he should feel out of place.

“Like any player who has been training with us the last few days, he should take a look at our squad and say ‘Okay, I’d like to think I’ve got a chance’.

“I think in the last three days, the thing that has been impressive with the new lads is that they’ve had a really good attitude to their training, a nice mindset.

“It’s been a quiet few days because a lot of the lads are trying to bed in.

“Usually there would be a bit more noise or banter but because there are new lads trying to bed in, it’s been quiet.

“But it’s a nice quiet, the lads have just got on with their training and have impressed all the staff.”

Keane watched North End a number of times last season, the growing Irish contingent at Deepdale meaning a few players can be scouted at once.

So Browne won’t have come out of nowhere in the thoughts of Keane and O’Neill.

Keane admits the trip to America to face Mexico is a long one for just a friendly.

But he sees it an important part of the build-up to the World Cup qualifier against Austria on June 11 which follows a warm-up game with Uruguay.

Said Keane: “It’s all par for the course for a professional footballer, New York – there are worse places to be going to.

“We will be taking the lads who have been here for the last few days, I’m sure they’re looking forward to it.

“We just hope they do well, we want them to give the manager a headache for Uruguay but, more importantly, the Austria match.

“It has been good for us to see the lads close up this week.

“Of course it’s great to watch them in club football but seeing them in training and around the hotel, only benefits us.”