Alan Judge hopes his match-winning brace for Brentford in the 2-1 Championship win over Rotherham on Saturday will have given Martin O’Neill food for thought ahead of next month’s Euro 2016 play-off against Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Judge was in the Ireland squad ahead of this month’s double-header against Germany and Poland and, though he didn’t get to make his senior international debut, he found the experience beneficial.
“Going away with the Republic of Ireland gave me a lot of confidence,” he said. “It was good to go away and have a week with the Irish team and see what the standard is like and see where you want to get to. I have come back and hopefully I have shown that (I can get there). With the play-offs coming up that is a huge incentive for me but the lads that are there are doing very well. All I can do is do what I can on the pitch and hopefully those two goals will help me.”
Judge’s double certainly helped Brentford as they gave the Bees a first win in nine games and secured a first three points for new boss and former Ireland international Lee Carsley.
His first was an exquisite lobbed volley after just 67 seconds while his second came courtesy of his head.
“A few times when the ball drops to players there they try to smash it but I wanted to make sure that I got it on target. I sidefooted it and luckily I caught it perfectly,” Judge said of his opener.
Referring to his second the diminutive midfielder said: “It was my first header for Brentford but I have scored a few headers in my career. You can sneak in there if they don’t think you can jump high and luckily enough it fell for me.”
Chris Hughton’s Brighton stretched their lead to four points after a 2-1 win at Leeds.
“We deserve to be where we are at the moment,” Hughton said.
It wasn’t such a good weekend for Mick McCarthy after Ipswich were held to a goalless draw by 10-man Huddersfield.
“We would have nicked the points last year but it’s not going for us at the moment,” McCarthy reflected.
In League One, Aiden O’Brien was on the mark as Millwall beat Swindon 2-0 while Paddy Madden netted the winner from the penalty spot in Scunthorpe’s 2-1 win over Shrewsbury.
League Two saw Barry Corr find the net in Cambridge United’s 2-1 win over Northampton while a Rhys Murphy header helped Crawley Town come from behind to beat Luton.
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