Sunday 11 December 2016

Dundalk star disputes Richard Dunne's 'nonsense' view on Irish style

Published 17/09/2016 | 02:30

Horgan:
Horgan: "But of course Irish players can play. They played against Italy and France at the Euros. At times, we played them off the park." Photo: Sportsfile

Daryl Horgan believes that Dundalk's European displays have shown that Richard Dunne was talking 'nonsense' when he said that Irish sides only have one way of playing on the international stage.

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The League of Ireland champions continue to win new admirers with the brand of football that has helped them to secure notable results. They kicked off life in the Europa League group stages with a dramatic draw away to AZ Alkmaar on Thursday night.

AZ coach John van den Brom admitting that the visitors were superior in the passing department until the dismissal of skipper Stephen O'Donnell.

On a recent visit to Dublin, Dunne offered his views on the most effective approach for Irish sides from his international experience.

"It's always been about fight, tackle, get the ball in the box and see what you can do," he said. "That's the style of play we are used to."

Horgan feels that Dundalk are offering a counterpoint by embracing the philosophy of their manager, Stephen Kenny, and showing that a homegrown side can compete technically with European sides.

"That's nonsense," said Horgan, after he asked for the detail of Dunne's views. "Richard Dunne was obviously an incredible player, with a far better career than I'll ever have.

"But of course Irish players can play. They played against Italy and France at the Euros. At times, we played them off the park. We knocked out Champions League regulars (BATE Borisov). We were unfortunate against Legia and got a massive draw in Holland, so I'm not having that at all."

Horgan said he is proud of a game-plan that is not about getting men behind the ball and shutting up shop.

"I suppose that's a lot of how Irish football has been played and people are saying it's our mindset, it's the way we do things," he continued. "But the manager himself has completely debunked that, he's said 'I want my teams to play'.

"I suppose our league is a bit helter-skelter for 90 minutes but they (European opponents) are very, very technical players, but we're at that level too.

"I found this year especially, we've played really well in Europe, we're all comfortable on the ball. There was no-one who looked uncomfortable or out of their depth."

Horgan's displays have led to calls for his inclusion in the Ireland squad. And, inevitably, the 24-year-old's future is going to become a talking point.

He is out of contract at the end of the season and able to leave for free. The Galwegian says he has not discussed a new deal yet and admitted that European football is something he would miss if he left.

"If I'm lucky I could get a Championship club in England and might never play European football again, which is something you would have to look at as well," he stressed.

"You're not going to go to England and play the style of football that we're playing at the minute. Nights like Thursday are fantastic. You're not going to get them if you leave. You have to weigh everything up.

"Hopefully at some stage they (Dundalk) will want to sit down with me and we'll have a discussion then but at the minute I'm just enjoying it."

Irish Independent

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