Sunday 4 December 2016

Friendly wins can build good habits for the Euros - Brady

Published 28/03/2016 | 02:30

Republic of Ireland's Robbie Brady. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Republic of Ireland's Robbie Brady. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Robbie Brady says the results of Ireland's pre-Euro 2016 friendlies can be relevant for the summer if winning becomes a habit.

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Martin O'Neill's side eked out a 1-0 success over Switzerland on Friday despite struggling for periods of the game, and Brady feels that the experience can benefit the preparations for France.

"Pick up little wins like this and you'll get into a winning mentality and bring it into the Euros," said Brady, who featured at left-full in the first game of the double-header. "The main aim is to win - if we win, everyone is happy.

"It's always good if you can add a performance to that, but winning comes first. Every game in France is going to be a cup final. Performances come after."

Avoiding injury is another priority, although the Dubliner says it is dangerous to allow those thoughts enter your head. Kevin Doyle's nasty moment on Friday was a reminder of the perils for Brady, who came into the camp with a question mark over him after a bruising couple of weeks at Norwich.

Settle

"When you're on the pitch, you don't really think about it," says the 23-year-old. "When you settle down, you think 'Jesus, I'm lucky to come off there now'. I want to keep one eye on the Euros and stay fit at all costs."

Fortunately for Brady, the only treatment he requires at the moment is cosmetic - he is booked in for repair work on his front four teeth after losing two in a clash with Chelsea at the start of the month.

He is conscious that other members of this week's Ireland squad have bigger things to be worried about, with O'Neill facing the job of cutting down a group of 30-plus players to 23. Brady is safe, with the only debate surrounding his role in France boiling down to whether he lines out at left-back or midfield.

"These are big opportunities for the lads coming in and the lads who have been here to make sure we're playing when we go over there," he said.

"The new lads in here are enjoying just being around the set-up, and a few of them have done really well this week.

"It's going to be tough for places, people are going to be left out. I'm sure there is a long process behind it. It's not the end of the world if you don't go to the Euros - although it may feel like it at the time. We've got so much coming after that, the World Cup is coming and there is plenty to play for.

"It's actually quite relaxed this week, but there are reminders that these are not just games to fill gaps, these are big opportunities for us. So, to come out and get a win in the first one is brilliant."

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