And back with his club team-mates at Springfields he described the experience as one he won’t forget: “It’s been an incredible week,” he told PNE.Com. “Just to be involved in the Wales game and the atmosphere involved in a World Cup qualifier was unreal and I am delighted now to have got the opportunity to play for my country.
“Everyone dreams of playing for their country and I got that opportunity and honour on Tuesday night and I could be more proud and honoured.”
The Irish boss had made it quite clear that the likes of Horgan, Andy Boyle and fellow new squad members Conor Hourihane and John Egan would get their chances, but North End’s No.7 wasn’t counting his chickens.
“He said we would get an opportunity, but there is saying it and actually getting that opportunity,” he continued. “He also said ‘might’ and didn’t guarantee all four of us would play, so I didn’t take anything for granted.
“He gave me my chance and I was absolutely delighted to take it and get on – it was brilliant – it was a great night for myself and my family who have seen me rise up through the ranks and hopefully there will be a few more along the way.
“It was an unbelievable reception from the fans when I came on. There were probably a lot of League of Ireland fans in the crowd; it’s a close knit league and community and everyone wants players to do well when they leave and I played in the league for seven years, so it was nice for me and Andy to come on and make our debut at the same time, it was fantastic.
“My family all came over from Galway. My girlfriend and the little fella was there and my granddad was there and that was fantastic for him. He doesn’t get to many games any more, but to get to that one for him was brilliant. My three younger brothers all play football, two play in the League of Ireland and one plays in the U19s in Ireland and hopefully they’ll be looking at it and thinking they have got a chance and everyone throughout the league will think the same, because the more younger players we can get coming through from there the better.”
But back at PNE and he is now fully focused on what he wants to achieve in the next five weeks: “All the lads came in and said ‘well done’ which was great of them; but you don’t get to rest on your laurels long, you are back with a bang. I have Saturday to think of now. I can enjoy that for half an hour and then it is done and finished and move on towards Saturday where we want to try and win three points.
“We have eight games to go and we are all guns blazing for the Play-Offs. We are only five points outside and the nature of the Championship it is very difficult to win every week and I’ll be shocked if every team does that. There will be points dropped and if we go on a good run, then I have no doubt we can be in the Play-Offs.
“We have a great bunch of lads in the dressing room and we have a great opportunity,” he added.