Preston North End midfielder Alan Browne happy to bide his time at international level after first Republic of Ireland goal

Alan Browne scores for the Republic of Ireland against Bulgaria
Alan Browne scores for the Republic of Ireland against Bulgaria

Preston North End midfielder Alan Browne is not expecting his first Republic of Ireland goal to lead to a starting role in the next set of international fixtures.

Browne netted in the 3-1 win over Bulgaria on Tuesday night, breaking the deadlock with a close-range finish.

Alan Browne is congratulated after scoring for the Republic of Ireland against Bulgaria at the Aviva Stadium

Alan Browne is congratulated after scoring for the Republic of Ireland against Bulgaria at the Aviva Stadium

The 23-year-old’s inclusion in the starting XI was one of 10 changes made by Irish boss Mick McCarthy.

When the Republic play Georgia and Switzerland next month in Euro 2020 qualifiers, Browne expects a return to a more familiar line-up – and he has no complaint with that.

Browne 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.

“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 the manager’s mind and we’ll see where I go from here.

“With the changes which the gaffer made, we knew we had to not just put on a performance, but win the game.

“Winning is a habit – one win can take you a long way – so keeping the results going is fantastic.”

Browne’s goal came in his fifth appearance for the ROI. With him also having played as a sub in last week’s 1-1 draw against Switzerland, that marks a change in fortune for the Preston player at international level.

Three times last season he had to pull out of the squad due to injury, with him being dubbed on the other side of the Irish Sea as the squad’s unluckiest player.

Browne’s focus now turns back to club matters, with PNE facing Brentford at Deepdale on Saturday.

He’s been in and out of the Preston team this season and three of his starts have come as a stand-in right-back.