Horgan’s late show excites

Daryl Horgan makes his debut against Arsenal
Daryl Horgan makes his debut against Arsenal
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Preston manager Simon Grayson was impressed with Daryl Horgan’s cameo from the bench late in the FA Cup defeat to Arsenal.

Horgan came on for his PNE debut in the 81st minute, replacing Daniel Johnson.

The Irish winger gave the Deepdale crowd a glimpse of what he is about with a few runs down the left-hand side.

Grayson said: “I thought Daryl affected the game when he came on.

“He is a player who has the potential to excite the fans and do well for us.

“It is good to have players in the squad who can fit straight into what we want to do.”

When Horgan came on, Aiden McGeady moved inside from the left wing to play off Simon Makienok.

That switch to the No.10 role had worked well for McGeady against Sheffield Wednesday.

Horgan, 24, agreed a move to North End from Dundalk early last month.

The move was registered on New Year’s Day when the transfer window opened, together with that of Dundalk team-mate Andy Boyle.

A bout of flu had delayed Horgan’s involvement until Saturday, the illness having ruled him out of the 1-0 win at Burton last week.

Centre-half Boyle has yet to make his Preston debut.

The thinking is that it is harder to throw a defender straight into the fray without some adjustment to English football.

With Bailey Wright sold to Bristol City last week and Alex Baptiste injured, Boyle is not far away from forcing his way into contention.

After Tom Clarke and Paul Huntington, he is the next line of defence.

North End’s other signing to date this transfer window, Tom Barkhuizen, was not involved against Arsenal.

Barkhuizen was cup-tied, having played for Morecambe in the first round against Coventry – that was his final game in a Shrimps shirt.

A booking for Ben Pearson in the 75th minute against the Gunners, proved costly in terms of the midfielder’s availability over the next couple of weeks.

It was his 10th yellow card of the campaign, triggering a two-match suspension.

Pearson will miss the games against Brighton and Aston Villa.

Greg Cunningham got a yellow too in the second half, moving the Irish left-back on to nine bookings.

Although Grayson did not argue against Pearson’s caution, he felt Cunningham had been unfairly treated.

It is fair to say that the North End boss was not happy with a few of Robert Madley’s decisions.

Grayson got a touchline ticking-off from Mr Madley during the second half.

“I didn’t think the referee was as good as he should have been for us,” said Grayson.

“There were a couple of incidents which didn’t go our way.

“With Greg’s booking, we thought he had got the ball.

“At one stage I did put my point across and let him know what I thought.”

Cunningham has to get through the next two months without a booking if he is to avoid a two-match ban – the FA amnesty kicks in after the second weekend in March.

Like Pearson, he is unlikely to do that because of the nature of his game.