Sunday 22 October 2017

Horgan hoping for starting role as Ireland prepare for crunch World Cup qualifiers

4 October 2017; Republic of Ireland's Daryl Horgan during squad training at the FAI National Training Centre in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
4 October 2017; Republic of Ireland's Daryl Horgan during squad training at the FAI National Training Centre in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Aidan Fitzmaurice

Aidan Fitzmaurice

DARYL Horgan admits that he has a fight on his hands to work his way into the Irish midfield for Friday's World Cup qualifier at home to Moldova.

Martin O'Neill is forced into changes to his midfield formation as Robbie Brady and James McClean are suspended while Jon Walters, often used as a wide man, is out due to injury.

Preston man Horgan is in the frame to play a role but with more experienced players like Aiden McGeady keen to start, Horgan may have to settle for a role off the bench.

"Every time you are called in you hope to play, you are geared to play as much as possible, but you are up against lads who have been there and done that," Horgan said after a training session at FAI HQ on Wednesday.

"We have a few lads out but we still have a very strong squad, 28 or so players, and it will be tough to get a run, there are a lot of players ahead of me but hopefully, fingers crossed," added Horgan, admitting that it's been a whirlwind year for him, as he came into the squad for the first time 11 months ago, when he was still a Dundalk player.

"It's been a crazy year, a bit mad but when you are in it you just want more and more, you get the head down and keep working. There is an opportunity there, but there is a good squad here and you never really know but if the opportunity comes I will be ready," he says.

Horgan insists that the Irish squad cannot get too hung up on the absence of Gareth Bale from their squad for Monday's game in Cardiff.

"They have a very good squad regardless, they will still be strong and you can't worry about him not playing as they have other good players," added Horgan, hoping to see club-mate, and former Dundalk team-mate Sean Maguire make an impact.

"Sean has done well for us at Preston and it'd be great to see him get a run."

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