Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill has tipped Everton winger Aiden McGeady to play a pivotal role in the country's two upcoming international fixtures against England and Scotland.
The boys in green face England in a friendly on June 6 before a European Championship qualifier against Scotland just one week later.
The former Celtic player struggled with knee and back injuries this season, but returned to full fitness in order to feature in two of Everton's final three games.
O'Neill, who works alongside assistant coach Roy Keane in the dugout, believes a behind-closed-doors friendly against Northern Ireland on Thursday will also give McGeady an extra chance to shine.
“This is very important for him and some of these things were scheduled in with Aiden in mind," O'Neill told the official Everton website.
"The fact is that he got very little game time with Everton towards the end of the season.
“He came into the last game maybe not at his fittest, but he has been a match-winner for us and he’s still very important.
“When [Northern Ireland boss] Michael O’Neill mentioned the idea of this game at this time I was absolutely delighted.
“It gives us this opportunity to have proper competitive football in a sort of friendly environment."
McGeady made his full international debut for the Republic of Ireland in July 2004 against Jamaica. Since then he has made over 70 appearances for Ireland, featuring regularly under previous manager Giovanni Trapattoni.
The Scotland-born winger set up Ireland's first and only goal of the 2012 European Championships from a free-kick, converted by Sean St Ledger, who is currently playing for Orlando City SC, in the 3–1 defeat to Croatia.