'It was way over the top' - Daryl Horgan's message to Eamon Dunphy and Ireland's vocal critics
Ireland winger Daryl Horgan has urged critics of Martin O'Neill and his Ireland team to 'get some perspective' when they offer analysis of the team's performance after some stinging abuse at the back end of last year's World Cup qualifying campaign.
O'Neill was reported to have been shocked by the media backlash directed at him and his players following last November's 5-1 World Cup play-off defeat against Denmark in Dublin, with the criticism believed to have forced him to consider his future as Ireland boss.
After holding talks with Stoke City over their managerial vacancy, O'Neill opted to stay with Ireland and now Preston winger Horgan has backed up the suggestion from the Ireland management team that the abuse flying in the direction of the national team has been unjustified.
"The criticism that came the way of the team and the manager was over the top. It all blows up very quickly after a bad result for Ireland and it is too much," Horgan told Independent.ie.
"If you compare the RTÉ punditry to the analysis we see on Sky Sports, one is a lot more calm and measured than the other. The lads on Irish TV are passionate and they want to see the team doing well, but there are occasions when they lose sight of what they are talking about and go over the top with criticism.
"The way it finished in the Denmark game was dramatically disappointing and it was hard to stomach, but it was one of those games Everything went right for them and if it didn’t finish 5-1, maybe the criticism wouldn’t have been so harsh.
"We got very close to qualifying for the World Cup. Maybe closer than many people thought we would, so maybe some people should have remembered that when they summed up the campaign."
RTÉ pundit Eamon Dunphy was one of O'Neill's most outspoken critics, yet Horgan hopes a new chapter can be turned in relations between the Ireland team and the media heading into a future that will begin with an international in Turkey next Friday.
"Eamon Dunphy loves the game and he is desperate to see Ireland do well. I suppose he sees this as his way of expressing that, but sometimes he goes a little bit over where it should be," continues the winger who has been included in a revamped Ireland squad for next week's international.
"We were all gutted not to go to the World Cup after getting so close, but we look forward to the Nations League and the Euro 2020 final and I hope we can all look forward to the future with optimism."
After a sparkling opening to his time at Preston, former Cork City and Dundalk star Horgan has struggled to cement a regular spot in the Preston team this season and he admits he would have wanted more.
"It has been quite frustrating for me this season," he added. "Everyone wants to play every game and I would have wanted to start more often. It can be difficult when things are not going the way you want and it is tough to make an impact coming on late in a game.
"Sometimes you come off the bench and you are chasing a game or you are asked to do a job to try and see out a match, but you have to do what is best for the team. It can be hard at times, but you have to keep your head down and have faith that it will come good for you in the end."
Republic of Ireland winger Daryl Horgan is going green in FIFA Ultimate Team as part of this year’s FIFA 18 FUT Birthday celebrations. Don’t miss your chance to unlock special green items, and unwrap an exclusive St Patrick’s Day kit available in FIFA Ultimate Team now until Friday 23rd March!