Preston North End duo's key roles for Republic of Ireland

Callum Robinson and Graham Burke sampled another taste of international football when they played for the Republic of Ireland in Poland.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 12th September 2018, 11:14 am
Updated Wednesday, 12th September 2018, 12:17 pm
PNE's Callum Robinson in action for the Republic of Ireland against Poland on Tuesday night
PNE's Callum Robinson in action for the Republic of Ireland against Poland on Tuesday night

he Preston pair both won their second caps and it was a case of one on, one off.

Robinson started the 1-1 draw in Wroclaw, with Burke replacing him just beyond the hour mark.

It was a second successive start for Robinson, who had started in last week’s 4-1 defeat to Wales. Burke became the 20th player to have won an Irish cap while on Preston’s books.

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His debut in June, when he scored against the USA, came while he was a Shamrock Rovers player.

Burke and Robinson will rejoin the PNE squad at Springfields on Thursday ahead of the game against Reading.

Both will be at the forefront of Alex Neil’s plans, Robinson especially.

He started PNE’s last game before the international break against Bolton as the main striker in the absence of the injured Lukas Nmecha.

There has yet to be a fitness update on Manchester City loanee Nmecha.

The injury, one which was suffered in the League Cup victory at Leeds last month when he came on as a sub, was sufficient to force him to pull out of the England Under-20s squad.

Nmecha is yet to open his account in a North End shirt since arriving on loan in the second week of the season.

But PNE will be keen to have the teenager available as they look to give their league form a kick-start.

Central midfield is an area of the squad which will come under scrutiny this weekend.

Suspension rules out Ben Pearson and Ryan Ledson, while Alan Browne is having treatment on a calf strain.

Browne suffered that in training with the Republic of Ireland and he did not feature in their two games.

Currently that leaves Josh Harrop, Daniel Johnson and Paul Gallagher as the three senior options for the middle.