Sunday 20 January 2019

Huge praise for Daryl in Preston win

Preston's Daryl Horgan in action (r) against Brighton's Steve Sidwell
Preston's Daryl Horgan in action (r) against Brighton's Steve Sidwell

Roy Keane will be pleased with his weekend scouting mission as the Ireland assistant manager was on hand to watch Daryl Horgan put on a stunning performance on his full debut for Preston.

We don't know if Keane was on his feet when Horgan was substituted late on in Preston's 2-0 win over Brighton but the Deepdale crowd of 12,000 gave the Galway native - one of four Irish players in the Preston side - a standing ovation, Horgan claiming an assist for the second goal.

"It was a great second goal, Daryl Horgan put in a fantastic ball over the top," said manager Simon Grayson.

"I was very impressed with Daryl. I had no hesitation putting him into the team given how he has trained and how he played last week for us."

Horgan caught the eye on his debut, off the bench, for Preston in an FA Cup loss to Arsenal but the ex-Dundalk player now hopes for a long run in the side, Horgan also hoping to stay in Martin O'Neill's plans and FAI scouts are likely to be in attendance again when Preston face Aston Villa next weekend

Horgan made the matchday squad for Ireland's most recent qualifier, away to Austria and while the form of a rejuvenated Aiden McGeady at Preston increases the competition, Horgan did himself no harm with that weekend outing in front of Keane.

"To play the full 90 minutes is brilliant, but to also beat top of the table, comprehensively as well is great," said Horgan, who almost nicked a debut goal.

"That would have been brilliant to score. But ultimately it's a great win for us and a clean sheet, it propels us further up the table and puts us in a stronger position to push for a play-off place.

"It was never going to be easy against them with them being top of the table but thankfully we got the result and we can look ahead to Villa now."

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