Judge Expected to Start For Republic of Ireland
Tuesday, 10th Sep 2019 10:49
Blues midfielder Alan Judge is expected to start for what will be a much-changed Republic of Ireland side facing Bulgaria in a friendly in Dublin this evening (Sky Sports Main Event from 7.40pm).
Judge came on as a second-half sub in Thursday’s 1-1 Euro 2020 qualifier draw with Switzerland and it’s anticipated that the 30-year-old will be amongst those named in former Town boss Mick McCarthy’s XI tonight.
The Dubliner will win his eighth cap and will hope to add to his one international goal against the Bulgarians, who were defeated 4-0 by England in a Euro 2020 qualifier on Saturday.
Prior to Thursday’s game Judge’s previous appearance for Ireland came in their friendly in Denmark in June, in which he suffered the broken wrist which saw him miss most of pre-season with Town.
“I think I was the last person to kick the ball,” the midfielder recalled when talking to the Irish media ahead of the Switzerland game.
“I chased it down the side, Jeff [Hendrick] played me in, I crossed it, the whistle went and the Denmark player [Jens Stryger Larsen] charged into me. I wasn’t ready because the whistle had gone and I fell. I don’t think anyone knew at the time I was injured.”
He added: “The minute it happened I knew, as I broke my leg and had similar pain. Not to that extent but I knew.
“It was right in front of the fans and they’re going 90. I’m lying there in front of them knowing it’s broken. But I still went to Vegas and had a decent summer!
“I’d fall a million times like that in my career. As the gaffer says if I didn’t have bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.
“I’m not sure how many stitches but I know there are seven screws in there, and a plate - it was a decent break."
The injury meant Judge missed out on the chance of his first competitive international start a few days later in the home qualifier against Gibraltar.
“I’d come on and felt I did well, helped set up the goal [Ireland and Denmark drew 1-1] and thought I’d finally got my foot in the door,” he continued.
“I knew I’d have probably played against Gibraltar. That was a bit disappointing but I’m here now for what I feel like are the important games and if Mick needs to use me, I’m ready.”
Judge admitting he would have been interested in moving to Championship QPR this summer, the West Londoners had a number of offers rebuffed by the Blues, was criticised by some Town supporters, however, the former Brentford man says fans didn’t know the reasons why at the time.
“It wasn’t their fault, they didn’t get the full facts,” he said. “My daughter [Emily] needs two operations. They’re not life-threatening issues but she needs two separate operations for two different things within the next six months. She turned six last week.
“I live five minutes down the road from the hospital in London that she’s having the operations at. As a parent, that comes into your mind.
“I didn’t feel like I need to explain myself but I just thought I might as well because I’m staying at Ipswich now, so I didn’t want this going on any longer, people questioning, ‘Does he really want to be here?’
“I didn’t know about these operations when I moved down to Ipswich. Then I found out QPR were interested. I’m right beside the hospital in London, everything comes into account.
“To be honest, I don’t mind League One. I feel with the squad we have, we can come back up anyway. But the fans at the time didn’t get full facts and it was hard to take, that that was the real reason I was interested in the QPR move.
“The owner said, ‘I’m not selling you’. I didn’t kick up any fuss, I said, ‘OK, fair enough’. I put my personal opinion across but he still wanted to hold on to me.
“They’re willing to do anything to help. Some clubs mightn’t do that. They’ve been very helpful to me.”
He added: “You get some bad things and people hide behind keyboards, but again I’d defend them and say they didn’t know the full facts.
“People might think you don’t care but footballers have other things going on in their lives. We’re not robots, we’ve normal lives as well, other things to deal with.
“I was travelling two-and-a-half hours down and back each day. It’s not good for you long term. We decided to move [nearer to Ipswich].”
Meanwhile, Town keeper Adam Przybek could also pick up a cap today for the Wales U21s, who take on Germany in a European Championships qualifier in Wrexham.
The 19-year-old, who joined Town after leaving West Brom in the summer following a trial last season, is yet to win an U21s cap and was an unused sub in Friday’s 1-0 defeat of Belgium in another qualifier.
Midfielder Idris El Mizouni had been due to be with the Tunisia U23s for their African Cup of Nations ties with Cameroon, the second of which is this evening.
However, the 18-year-old ultimately didn’t make the trip for the first game in Cameroon - which Tunisia lost 1-0 - as he hadn’t undergone the required vaccinations and it was subsequently decided that he wouldn’t fly out for tonight’s home match.
Photo: Action Images
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