Preston manager Alex Neil explains why Daryl Horgan was sold to Hibernian

Preston North End boss Alex Neil says he allowed Daryl Horgan to leave Deepdale to join Hibernian because he could not guarantee him game time.

Monday, 13th August 2018, 12:08 pm
Updated Monday, 13th August 2018, 1:13 pm
Daryl Horgan during his game for PNE against QPR
Daryl Horgan during his game for PNE against QPR

Horgan joined Hibs on a three-year deal on Saturday for an undisclosed six-figure fee.

The 26-year-old had struggled to get a regular run under Neil's management and feared his place in the Republic of Ireland squad was at risk.

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Daryl Horgan during his game for PNE against QPR

Speaking at Springfields on Monday morning, Neil said: "I had a great relationship with Daryl, he's a good lad who works really hard.

"I had a conversation with him in the summer and I think his international manager had said to him if he doesn't play more frequently he is going to struggle to get into squads.

"That means a lot to Daryl, playing for his country.

"At the end of last season I gave him my word that if he wasn't going to get game time here, then we would make sure we wouldn't stall his career.

PNE boss Alex Neil

"I didn't see him getting ahead of the other lads we have in that position and I had to be honest with him."

Hibs had tried to land Horgan at the start of July, wanting to take him on a season's loan.

That was always a non-starter with the winger in the final year of his contract - a loan would effectively have been giving him away for free.

As it is, North End have got a decent fee for someone they signed on a free transfer.

Daryl Horgan scores for PNE against Burton last season

Neil said: "An opportunity came up at the end of last season for Daryl but I turned it down because I wanted to keep him for pre-season and let him show me what he could do.

"He had a good pre-season but ultimately I couldn't promise him the game time he needed.

"We had a good relationship considering he didn't play every week, that speaks volumes for him.

"When everything is plain sailing and you are playing every week, it is easy to be a nice lad.

Daryl Horgan in pre-season action for PNE

"Daryl had been a great lad all the way through and I'm thankful I had the chance to work with him for the time I did."

Horgan made his Hibs debut as a 63rd minute substitute in their 1-1 draw at St Johnstone on Sunday.