Preston North End winger Daryl Horgan admitted to feeling mixed emotions after making his first Championship start of the campaign at Barnsley on Boxing Day.
All of the former Dundalk man’s league action this term had come from the bench, his impact as a substitute of late seeing him get the nod to start on Boxing Day.
Horgan was delighted to get the call but frustrated that he couldn’t help PNE to win the Oakwell clash.
He lasted 69 minutes of the 0-0 draw before giving way to Stephy Mavididi.
“It was brilliant to start and hopefully there are a few more to come,” said Horgan.
“As I’ve said before, it has been a tough period for me personally.
“Everyone wants to play so to get this opportunity was great.
“There is a squad of 24/25 players here who all want to play – not everyone can at the same time.
“When your chance comes you have to try and take it.
“Probably the Boxing Day game was not the easiest on the eye.
“It was a bit of a battle, a scrap and maybe we would have won it had we scored in the first half.
“The last two games have been an opportunity to pick up wins and unfortunately we couldn’t do that.
“I thought we played well against Nottingham Forest last Saturday but we couldn’t quite find the second goal which we needed.”
It is Cardiff City next for North End on Friday night and then Middlesbrough on New Year’s Day at Deepdale.
The arrival of 2018 will see Horgan celebrate his first year as a Preston player.
“It has been a good year all in all,” said the 25-year-old.
“The last few months have been a bit difficult but we are going well as a team.
“I’ve made the move here, won a couple of international caps, so it’s not been bad.
“I think I have adapted well, I’ve enjoyed it so far and my aim is to push on and develop further.”