Preston North End midfielder Alan Browne showing his versatility for both club and country

Alan Browne takes on two Switzerland players in the Republic of Ireland's defeat to the Swiss in Geneva
Alan Browne takes on two Switzerland players in the Republic of Ireland's defeat to the Swiss in Geneva

Alan Browne has had to show his versatility for Preston North End this season and did likewise for the Republic of Ireland.

After two seasons playing predominantly as the Lilywhites' No.10, Browne has chopped and changed this campaign.

While he has featured at some point in every game, the 24-year-old has operated in a deeper midfield role and four times at right-back.

For the Republic’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Switzerland on Tuesday night, Browne was handed his first competitive start in an attacking midfield role.

But for the last quarter of an hour, Browne found himself at right-back to cover the loss of Seamus Coleman to a red card.

So he was at least able to call on the experience gained from his four starts there for PNE.

Browne has started to establish himself more at international level.

The 2-0 defeat to the Swiss was his seventh senior cap, four of those coming in the last month.

While Browne had started in friendly games, Mick McCarthy trusted him from kick-off in Geneva.

That might have come as a surprise to the player himself who last week had said he “hadn’t a leg to stand on” when it came to pushing his claims for a start bearing in mind he has not been a regular starter for North End.

Browne did okay in what was a disappointing display from McCarthy’s men.

In the first half he was booked but settled down and saw quite a lot of the ball.

When Darren Randolph saved a penalty in the second half following Coleman’s red card, Browne was on hand to clear off the line in the ensuing scramble.

It is back to club duty now for Browne and Sean Maguire, with Preston facing Reading at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday.

Browne played right-back in the 5-1 win over Barnsley but Darnell Fisher is free from suspension now.

The fact he played 90 minutes on a heavy pitch might see Browne watching from the bench to start with at Reading.