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Saturday 21 September 2019

We must get the Irish fans back on side, says Browne

Mark Travers
Mark Travers

Alan Browne says it's up to the current crop of Ireland players to make sure that a dismal year in 2018 is consigned to history.

Ireland's record last year was the worst since 1984 and, while things have started well in the Euro 2020 campaign, the Preston man says the team need to deliver now.

"Looking from the outside, it probably looked really bad. But this is a new year now and a new chance for everyone to prove themselves again and, hopefully, get the Irish fans back on our side," said Browne.

"It's been disappointing and a bad reflection on us, so it's up to us now to kind of turn it around again and get goals, as well as clean sheets."

Browne also admits that he has struggled to bring his club form onto the international stage. While his club had a disappointing season, he enjoyed a successful campaign, his tally of 12 league goals making him the club's joint top scorer.

But his Ireland career has been a frustration due to injury and poor form. Browne is yet to play in a competitive international while all three of his appearances in friendlies ended in defeat.

"I wouldn't say I froze, but it was probably just a bit of naivety," he said, when reminded that fellow Corkman and Championship player Conor Hourihane admitted he "froze" on his Ireland debut.

"You kind of want to take how you've been playing at club level into international level and you're eager. But you're not going to be able to play as well in that step-up, you have to adapt your game to a certain degree."

There was bad news for Ireland yesterday as Bournemouth goalkeeper Mark Travers suffered a displaced fracture of his thumb, forcing the 20-year-old to withdraw from the international squad.

Fresh from making his Premier League debut with the Cherries as a 19-year-old, Travers was called up to train with the Irish squad in Portugal and he would have been cover for Darren Randolph ahead of the Euro 2020 qualifiers.

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