Republic of Ireland midfielder Alan Browne says a good start is crucial in the World Cup qualifiers.
Stephen Kenny’s squad will train in Manchester on Monday morning before they fly out to Serbia ahead of their opening group game in Belgrade on Wednesday night.
Blackburn defender Darragh Lenihan and West Ham midfielder Conor Coventry were both called up yesterday after Caoimhin Kelleher, Conor Hourihane, Kevin Long, and Callum O’Dowda were all ruled out of the games against Serbia, Luxembourg, and Qatar.
Browne says it’s important they don’t lose ground early on in the campaign:
“Darragh’s the sort of player that I knew he would be able to adapt, you could see internationally he played in the last few trips and just fitted in,” said Browne.
“It’s just the way he plays, he’s a calm player, confident in himself as well which is good, I can only see him getting better and he just needs to keep working hard as he always does, as he does every day, but just keeps working hard and just keeps concentrating on one thing and that’s playing football and loving it and that’s what he has been doing this season” he added.
Meanwhile, The Football Association of Ireland can confirm that all players and staff tested negative for covid-19 ahead of the FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifier against Serbia.
The round of testing took place yesterday on arrival into camp in Manchester ahead of the fixture on Wednesday.