Alan Browne has challenged himself to prove he can reproduce his knack of snaring goals from midfield on the international stage.

The Preston man bagged his first senior goal for the Republic of Ireland in Tuesday evening's 3-1 friendly defeat of Bulgaria - if he plays a thousand more times for his country, it’s unlikely he’ll score an easier one.

But Browne’s excellent record at club level suggests he possesses that rare sixth sense for ghosting into the box and chipping in with efforts from the middle of the park.

In a goal-shy side like Ireland, it could prove to be a real ace up his sleeve as he looks to force his way into Mick McCarthy’s first-choice 11.

"I know myself I’ve a goal in my locker," said the 24-year-old Corkonian.

"I’ve played further forward with my club than I did tonight but I don’t mind playing anywhere on the pitch as long as I’m out there. I’m just happy to play.

"Every time I put on the shirt I’ll look to show that and get on the end of things. We’ll see. Time will tell how effective I can prove to be at this level.

"Any time an opportunity comes along, in the box or outside the box, I just try to hit the target. Some go in, some don’t… but you’ve got to be in the right place at the right time. That proved to be the case tonight.

"It’s my first goal for my country though. It’s one thing doing it at Championship level, and another thing doing it at international level. As I said, time will tell whether I can keep up the goalscoring habits."

Ireland players celebrate Alan Browne's goal

A frank assessment, and Browne may have to bide his time for a little while longer unless an injury breaks up McCarthy’s preferred trio of Jeff Hendrick, Conor Hourihane and Glenn Whelan.

Still, he knows if he keeps shining in the Championship, more opportunities will ultimately come.

With thoughts now well and truly trained on October’s Euro 2020 Group D qualification double header in Georgia and then Switzerland, Browne stressed how important it was for the much-changed team that started tonight to maintain the positive vibes.

"It’s make or break really," he added of the next two qualifiers.

"We know we’ve got to go there and get results from both games. That’s what we’ve got to do.

"Switzerland was a massive point for us. We’re coming together well now as a team.

"With all the changes the gaffer made tonight, we knew we had to go out and not just put on a performance, but win the game.

"Winning is a habit and momentum takes you a long way."

"I’ve been really frustrated with this campaign so far I’ve pulled out with injuries a few times, not massive injuries just little niggles that came at the wrong time.

"I’m looking to put those days behind me now."