Richard Keogh caught the eye of Ireland's management team last night as he helped Derby County earn a vital win over big-spending QPR.
Martin O'Neill, Roy Keane and goalkeeping coach Séamus McDonagh turned up at Derby's home ground, the iPro Stadium, keen to see how QPR duo Richard Dunne and Kevin Doyle would fare.
But it was the Rams' Irish contingent who made a big impression as defender Keogh was named as man of the match, while subs Jeff Hendrick and Conor Sammon played their part after coming off the bench.
Keogh has not featured at international level since he won his second senior cap against Georgia last year, but the former Coventry man admitted last week that he still hoped to play for Ireland and had spoken to O'Neill.
"Clean sheets are important. The players take tremendous credit, they all worked for the clean sheet and that won us the game," said Derby boss Steve McClaren. "We can always score. We got the one, but we should have had more because we had the opportunities. And then we had enough to hold on to and defended very well."
A disappointed QPR boss Harry Redknapp said he was pleased with the work rate of loan signing Doyle last night and is confident that the goals will come for the Wexford man along with fellow loanee Modibo Maiga. "The lads we've bought in have got an opportunity to rebuild their careers," he said.
"We need them to step up to the plate now. That's what they're here to do. It won't be through lack of effort on their part. Kevin Doyle has worked his absolute socks off for us."