Paddy Mulligan: I'd put Daryl Horgan in before McGeady

Ex-Ireland defender looks ahead to Friday's 2018 World Cup qualifier against Wales

Ireland, James McClean, Daryl Horgan,

James McClean and Daryl Horgan ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

As the World Cup qualifier against Wales approaches, Ireland manager Martin O'Neill has a growing injury list to deal with.

A number of frontline players have been ruled out of the fixture and it means a contingent will have to step up.

Preston North End wing duo Aiden McGeady and Daryl Horgan (since arriving from Dundalk in January) have been shining in the Championship this season and given how many injuries there are, both are likey to be involved in some capacity at the Aviva Stadium - the more experienced McGeady leading the way in that regard. 

Former Ireland defender Paddy Mulligan has misgivings about McGeady based on his inconsistent end product for Ireland over the years and feels Horgan could be the type of trump card that could make the desired impact.

"He's a nice card to have up your sleeve. He could just do something out of the ordinary and just go and express himself," Paddy told Newstalk.com of Horgan's potential impact if he gets game-time.

"Daryl Horgan is more than capable of doing that. Like, I would put Daryl Horgan in before I'd put McGeady in because McGeady's been there, and as far as I'm concerned, has failed. But give Daryl Horgan an opportunity." 

Aiden McGeady ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

As Kevin Kilbane recently explained, Preston have been utilising McGeady both on the wing and more centrally but Paddy is unsure if replicating a position in the hole behind the striker would be workable with Ireland, even in Wes Hoolahan's absence.

"I'm not so sure he has the football intelligence to play that role. That's my whole concern because I've got grave misgivings about McGeady and always had," he said.

"He's flattered to deceive far too much. I know he got one or two important goals but there is so much more that he could have done and that's where I feel the lack of football intelligence comes into play, that if you let him wide on the right or the left he's just like a loose cannon. Anything can happen. He can either whip in a brilliant ball or be absolutely hopeless.

"But if you ask him to be creative or play off the front man, would he know which run to make, would he know when to, would his timing be good, would he know when to get on the ball and when not to make the run? I don't think so. But maybe on a one-off, he could just produce. But I don't think it's worth the risk at this moment in time."  

You can listen to the full chat with Paddy on the audio player: