Robbie Brady is desperate to make Austria pay for his World Cup frustration as he targets a return to competitive action for the Republic of Ireland.
The Burnley midfielder missed his country’s 0-0 qualifier draw with Wales on March 24 after being booked for the second time in the campaign during November’s 1-0 win over the Austrians in Vienna.
Brady will hope for a start in Sunday’s friendly against Uruguay in Dublin to hone himself for the Group D showdown at the Aviva Stadium a week later.
The 25-year-old is raring to go after finding himself cast in the role of spectator when the Welsh visited.
He said: “It was a tough one last time. I was in training for the full time the lads were in so it was a hard one to watch.
“But it was a decent result and I got to play in the following (friendly) game against Iceland, so it just gave me a bit of a taste for it again.
“I have been waiting now. I can’t wait for these games coming up. I am really looking forward to the game and the big one next week.”
It is almost a year since former Manchester United youngster Brady burst onto the international stage with a series of fine individual displays as Ireland reached the last 16 at Euro 2016 in France.
His exploits were belatedly rewarded with a £13million January move from Norwich to Burnley, although the transition to life at Turf Moor has not been as smooth as he would have liked.
To date, he has made just seven Premier League starts for the Clarets and the same number of appearances as a substitute, scoring one goal, a stunning equaliser against eventual champions Chelsea.
Brady said: “This season has been a little bit stop-start for me personally but every time I’ve come back here, I’ve been ready to play.
“I’m fit and I am excited for these two games coming up. I love coming back here to play. I’ve been in and around the squad for a number of years now and I have been learning every time I’ve come in.
“I feel confident. I enjoy playing on the big stage internationally and I am really looking forward to these games.”
Manager Martin O’Neill is likely to turn to his senior players once again after fielding a largely inexperienced side in a 3-1 defeat by Mexico in New Jersey.
Brady, Keiren Westwood, John O’Shea, Jeff Hendrick, Aiden McGeady, Jonny Hayes and Jonathan Walters joined up for training on Friday and Glenn Whelan and Harry Arter followed suit on Saturday.
O’Neill is forecasting a similarly difficult task against Oscar Tabarez’s men, despite the absence of the injured Luis Suarez, but that is exactly what he wants.
The 65-year-old said: “It’s the way we have gone about the friendly games here in the last couple of years.
“We have tried to choose as tough of an opposition as possible and I hope that continues because we’ll learn more from that than we would do against lesser teams.
“Players like Robbie, who would have a very decent chance of starting against Austria, would need some game-time before stepping into that.”
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