Saturday 10 December 2016

Horgan best winger in history of the league - O'Donnell

Published 13/10/2016 | 02:30

Dundalk's Daryl Horgan. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile
Dundalk's Daryl Horgan. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile

Dundalk captain Stephen O'Donnell believes that Daryl Horgan is one of the best players to have ever played in the League of Ireland.

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Horgan's sensational form for the Lilywhites this season has drawn praise from plenty of quarters, including Martin O'Neill, and his goal-scoring performance against Cork City on Tuesday has put his side back in the driving seat to win their third title in a row.

Horgan has been tipped for a call-up to the Ireland squad, and while he is keeping his feet firmly on the ground, his skipper says he is a special talent.

"The wee man, has there been a better player in the league, that type of player ever?" O'Donnell asked.

"He's sort of like Paddy McCourt in that sense. Cork had good possession but that suited us as we invited them on and that left space for Patrick McEleney and Daryl to run into.

"Usually we come up against teams where they have 10 behind the ball and they are stifling and it's hard for our players to get space, but they had space in the first half and you can see what the wee man does when he has space.

"The second goal was brilliant."

Dundalk's title hunt continues in Tallaght tomorrow night and although they are riding another crest of a wave after beating their nearest challengers, O'Donnell is adamant that the players will not be getting carried away with Tuesday's win.

"As the manager said to us, there's nothing won yet," O'Donnell warned.

"There was a sense of euphoria immediately afterwards but we still have a tough run-in and it's just four points with five games to go.

"Rovers away on Friday is a quick turnaround. It was a tight match (against Cork) and a big win.

"There were people questioning us with a 3-0 defeat (to Sligo). Cork hammered Galway 5-0 away and people thought the momentum was with them.

"But we knew that sometimes you get nights like Saturday, even though we haven't had them often. But it was a freak night and we couldn't score, we were very sloppy."

The games keep coming thick and fast for the champions and although it is new territory for them to be still fighting on the European front as well as domestically, O'Donnell is adamant that there is enough experience within the squad to cope with the demands.

"It's been fairly hectic and it is going to ramp up again but they are the cards we've been dealt with," he said.

"We're buzzing being in all these competitions - we wouldn't take ourselves out of one of them.

"Experience is huge. Like anything in life, once you have done it before it's easier to do it again, once you know what it takes. We have that experience and we'll be looking to put that to good use."

Irish Independent

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