Mick McCarthy admitted Robbie Brady is still lacking match fitness after watching the midfielder lead the Republic of Ireland to victory over New Zealand.
Brady set up Ireland's equaliser in their 3-1 friendly win on Thursday when his corner was headed in by Derrick Williams.
But captain-for-the-night Brady left manager McCarthy seemingly unconvinced about his readiness for the biggest battles.
And that may mean he has to settle for a substitute role in Monday's crunch Euro 2020 qualifier against Denmark.
"I think Robbie needs more game time. I don't think he's fully match sharp to be playing and he needs games," McCarthy told RTE. "Yes he can play because he played tonight and yes he's played for Burnley.
"But is he really match-hardened, like 10, 12, 15 games? He’s not and I think he felt that tonight. But he's delighted with being the captain and he's done OK."
McCarthy saw flaws in Ireland's performance, saying that in the early stages "our intensity wasn't that great" but stressing the display was "far better" In the second half.
He was delighted with man of the match Sean Maguire, who scored a brilliant first international goal to cap an enterprising all-round performance.
"He was excellent," said McCarthy, "and he was in training as well this week. He got a great goal – it was a terrific finish."