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Daryl Horgan was recently recalled to the Ireland squad after a period out.
Daryl Horgan was recently recalled to the Ireland squad after a period out.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Daryl Horgan is trying to stop 'beating myself up'

The Ireland winger was recently recalled to the squad by Stephen Kenny.
Nov 10th 2020, 11:00 PM 7,340 1

DARYL HORGAN SAYS learning to not beat himself up so much after bad performances has been key to his improving fortunes at club and international level.

The 28-year-old made the move from Hibernian to Wycombe Wanderers at the start of the season, and he has been a regular for the Championship outfit ever since.

His club form subsequently helped earn him a recall for last month’s Nations League fixtures, while he has retained his spot in the squad for the forthcoming games.

“I used to be very, very hard on myself. And you see that in my game, there’s no two ways about it. So, I’ve worked on that, I’ve worked on improving and not beating myself up. So that’s definitely helped.

“The move has probably helped, because I’m playing more regularly and in a side that’s become very, very competitive in the Championship. That’s been a big plus as well, getting in and playing as much as I can. Getting that run of games has helped everything; fitness, sharpness, the whole lot.

“And, you know, I was always trying to do the right thing: work as hard as I could and play as well as I can, but I’d say that not being overly critical was the biggest change.

“Ireland was always in the forefront of my thoughts, because everyone wants to play for their country. It was down to me to improve, and to get that opportunity, and thankfully I did.”

Refraining from engaging in excessive self-criticism is a constant challenge, but Horgan says he has been getting some help from an unlikely source.

“It was almost ingrained in my head from when I was younger. So, I’m still not perfect by any stretch, but there are definite improvements. My little man was the one that really helped me, because he was giving out to me for beating myself up and if someone who is a little five-year-old has more emotional maturity than yourself, then you know you’re in trouble.”

Horgan has also been boosted by the presence in the new set-up of arguably the greatest winger to ever wear the green jersey — Damien Duff.

Having Damien in the set-up is unbelievable. At one stage he was one of the best wingers in the Premier League, a winner of Premier League medals, 100 caps, an unbelievable player. [It's great] to have him in or around the team, he’s giving little pointers and little bits and pieces about how he sees the game, the standards he expects from training and the quality you need to be, not to get to where he was at, but to get to international standard.”

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At club level, Horgan acknowledges that dealing with the Championship’s intense schedule has been a challenge.

“I suppose it’s quite difficult to compare leagues but the main thing is the relentless nature. Up in Scotland, it is Saturday-Saturday. But since the international break, we’ve been Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday virtually the whole way through, and so it’s been a tough, tough slog. And then when we go back, it’s pretty much the same schedule until Christmas.”

The Galway native had originally felt settled at Hibs, explaining that the move last September came “out of the blue”.

The newly promoted side got off to an awful start, and are currently third from bottom in the Championship. Nonetheless, their fortunes have been improving of late, with all seven of their points picked up in the last four games.

“There’s a bit of confidence and belief in the place now that we can make a dent in the Championship,” he says.

Before the international break, it was a little bit, everyone trying to find their feet. The manager tried to find what way we wanted to play, how we’d do things, there were a couple of new faces in the squad. 

“Then when we came back from the international break we really hit the ground running. The performances have been good. We’ve put it up to teams high up the table at the minute.

“We’ll need to be able to match everyone as much as we can to stay in games and hopefully push up that table.”

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