Robbie Brady is confident he has more to offer the Republic of Ireland after celebrating his first start in 18 months with a face-saving Nations League winner against Armenia.
Brady returned from the finals of Euro 2016 as a rising star after guiding Ireland to victory over Italy to send them through to the knockout stages and then defeating hosts France with an early penalty in the last 16.
However, injuries have taken their toll on the former Manchester United trainee in recent seasons and he had not donned a green jersey since March last year, when he came on as a substitute against Scotland on Saturday, before starting against Armenia and eventually winning the game off the spot.
When asked about his joyful celebration on Wednesday night, the 30-year-old Preston full-back said: “It’s been a difficult time for me on and off the pitch so it all came back.
“I’m excited to get back into a green jersey and I think it probably blew me away for a few seconds.
“I’m fine, I’m not even very happy with my overall performance. I did everything right. Sometimes we moved the ball well but I still think I could have done better and I don’t think it was my best game of the season so far.
“But I definitely have something to offer, I think, and with some of my performances I have to keep them up if I’m going to stick with it, and I know that.”
During such an eventful evening in Dublin, Ireland seemed on course for a routine win in a game they couldn’t afford to lose.
With their hopes of winning League B1 and the Euro 2024 boost that came with it, Ireland ran at the Armenians, who needed a point to avoid relegation, and crossed as John Egan and Michal Obafemi slammed them into the final 20 minutes sent a 2-0 lead.
However, substitutes Artak Dashyan and Eduard Spertsyan scored within two minutes to stop the home side and when Dashyan was awarded treatment in the area after a VAR check – and then joined team-mate Hovhannes Hambartsumyan – Brady was sent off Committed to a 3-2 victory from 12 meters.
He said: “I was feeling good at the moment and luckily it went in. We won in the end and it would have been a shame to come away with a draw or a loss after dominating most of the game .”
A narrow win over a side who lost 5-0 at home to Ukraine three days earlier did little to answer coach Stephen Kenny’s lingering questions about the leadership, but Brady believes that fine-tuning rather than a complete overhaul is needed is.
He said: “It was five or ten minutes of madness. When you’re this comfortable in a game, you can’t get complacent.
“We score goals, which is the most difficult thing at this level. [We need to make] a few minor changes to make sure stupid goals don’t go in like that again.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/robbie-brady-republic-of-ireland-armenia-nations-league-b2177003.html ‘I’ve got something to offer’: Robbie Brady welcomes Republic of Ireland recall