Daryl Horgan says Preston North End will concentrate on earning a positive result rather than basking in the derby atmosphere away to Blackburn Rovers this weekend.
The Irishman is less than three months into his Lilywhites career after joining from Dundalk in January, with this set to be one of his first experiences of a Lancashire derby with the club.
There was also a trip to Wigan Athletic last month, but the 24-year-old is keen to see his side focus on getting the three points.
“Any derby that I’ve played in, it always has that bit of unexpectedness and anything can happen,” Horgan said. “Blackburn are having a tough time at the minute but got a good result against Fulham on Tuesday, so they’ll be right up for it.
“There’s a new manager with new ideas, so that’ll help them, but hopefully we can play the game as it is as opposed to getting too soaked up in the derby atmosphere and pick up the three points that we need.”
Horgan believes the Lancashire derby will present a tough challenge for the Lilywhites, who were 3-2 winners over Rovers at Deepdale in December.
“Both teams have a lot to play for. It’ll be a tight game and Tony Mowbray is a very experienced manager, he’s been around the block and he seems to have them playing well and confident.
“I suppose similarly to ourselves, they have to win to keep pushing themselves away, and we have to win to try to push ourselves up.
“It’s going to be a tough game, but it’s two teams that really, really need the points and hopefully we can get them.”
After an impressive first couple of months with North End, Horgan was named in a 39-man provisional Ireland squad on Tuesday with the international break approaching later this month.
Aiden McGeady and Andy Boyle are also in the squad, and with Greg Cunningham and Alan Browne in international contention as well, Ireland manager Martin O’Neil and his assistant Roy Keane have regularly been casting their eye over the Lilywhites – something which has pleased Horgan.
“It’s brilliant to know that they are keeping an eye. Obviously, with the Irish contingent here they nearly have to, there’s so many.
“It’s good, but at the end of the day it doesn’t overly matter, you have to be doing your job no matter what and thankfully they think I am, and they’ve put me in the 39-man squad.
“I’m delighted to be named in that provisional squad, there’s no guarantee that I’ll be in the 23 but to be up in that group, I’m delighted. It’s a huge honour to be anywhere near your international set-up.”