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Tuesday 21 November 2017

Green's debut goal earns 'bravo' from boss

DERBY COUNTY man Paul Green joined the elite band of players who scored on their full international debuts for Ireland -- except the midfielder didn't know too much about his moment of glory.

But the Ireland manager had one word to sum up the contribution of Green: 'Bravo'.

Green, 27, has emerged from obscurity to claim a place in the Ireland squad, make his debut as sub against Paraguay last Tuesday and then mark his first international start with a goal against Algeria last night, Green heading past a very dodgy keeper called Faouzi Chaouchi from Liam Lawrence's free kick on 31 minutes. Roy of the Rovers stuff, if only he could remember it all, as Green had been clattered by the Algerian keeper just after getting his head to Lawrence's cross.

"A full debut was nice, but to get a goal was unbelievable, though I didn't know too much about it," he said.

"I saw the ball coming across, I put in a diving header but I didn't even know it had gone in until everyone started jumping on me and slapping my face.

"I'd like to see it again on TV as I don't remember anything about it, all I remember was Liam Lawrence and Robbie Keane slapping my face and then the rest of the team coming over and jumping on me.

"I don't think I was actually knocked out but there was something there for a split second, I didn't know where the ball had gone to be honest, but I would take a knock like that any day to score for my country.

"It's been an amazing two weeks for me, when I came over first I was happy just to be in the training camp with Ireland and I would have been happy with that taste of international football, but to get my first cap the other night, 25 minutes as a sub, and then start the game last night was a fantastic achievement for me, I am so proud," added the Derby player.

"The manager didn't say too much to me after. At first he just said 'bravo'. He didn't need to say much more, really," added Green, who now hopes to keep his place in the panel for the qualifiers ahead next season.

"That's all I can do," he says. "When I came over last week the plan was to just train and settle in with the lads, but I have been given a chance now and I am keen to get more."

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