Daryl Horgan hopes to push himself up the pecking order in Alex Neil’s attacking plans after setting up Preston’s late winner against Hull City.
Game-time has been in short supply for the former Dundalk man this season, with his three appearances in the Championship all being from the bench.
He joined the action at the KCOM Stadium in the closing stages and supplied the cross for Callum Robinson to head home in the 88th minute.
After starting regularly in the second half of last season, being on the fringes has taken a bit of getting used to.
“I’m not going to lie, it has been a bit frustrating,” said Horgan.
“Everyone wants to play and you have to try and take your chances when they come.
“I haven’t had many games so hopefully I have put myself higher in the gaffer’s thoughts. I’ll keep working hard, keep my head down.
“We have been playing well so it is not easy for the gaffer to just throw anyone in.”
Horgan’s assist came when he collected a pass from Josh Harrop and drove down the right-hand side of the box.
His cross gave Robinson the simple task of sending a header into the roof of the net from three yards.
Said Horgan: “In positions like that you just have to back yourself and fortunately it paid off.
“Callum has been working on his heading and was in the right place at back post.
“When I was going on the pitch, the gaffer just told me to try and make something happen.
“He also wanted me to keep a check on their left-back Max Clark who was still quite fresh after coming on as a sub and was getting up the pitch.
“It is always a big one when you get a late winner, even more so away from home.
“On the balance of play I thought we deserved the win and it was great to bring back the three points.
“In the Championship the difference between one point and three points is massive.
“Put a few wins together and you can really strengthen your league position.”
Competition across the PNE front line is strong, with Neil having plenty of options to choose from.
Tom Barkhuizen and Sean Maguire started in the wide positions at Hull, with Josh Harrop, Robinson and Stephy Mavididi other options along with Horgan.
Said Horgan: “I think the competition is strong all over the pitch, not just at the front.
“You could put anyone in this team and they wouldn’t be out of their depth.”
Horgan and Maguire have been named in a provisional 32-man Republic of Ireland squad for next month’s World Cup qualifiers against Wales and Moldova. The squad will be cut to 23 next week.