NEW HIBERNIAN manager Paul Heckingbottom has revealed he knew all about Daryl Horgan before he even arrived at the club – because he tried to sign the winger for Barnsley.
Horgan was a stand-out performer for Hibs in Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Hamilton Accies as Heckingbottom enjoyed a winning start to his Easter Road reign.
The Irishman swept in the cross that Florian Kamberi insists he touched into the net and was a constant menace out wide for the capital outfit.
After being fielded more centrally at times by Neil Lennon, Heckingbottom was confident of getting the best out of Horgan on the flank.
And, as he gets to know his new charges, the former Barnsley and Leeds United boss has admitted he already had the inside track on Horgan after scouting the Republic of Ireland cap before he made the switch from Dundalk to Preston North End in January 2017.
He said: “I see Daryl playing where he is effective but I’ve seen most of him as a winger.
“He’s a player who I saw a lot of when he was in Ireland.
“When I was at Barnsley he was one we were looking at, but we got priced out of it when he moved to Preston.
“So, I’ve seen Daryl a hell of a lot – a lot more than he thinks!
“He’s one of the players who I probably know the strengths and weaknesses of already.”
Having moved to within three points of the top-six with their win over Hamilton – just their second success in nine league games – Hibs are back on the road to face Dundee on Friday.
Another victory would move them from eighth into sixth on goal difference ahead of weekend fixtures for St Johnstone and Motherwell.
With a rejuvenated Dundee now unbeaten in their last three matches, the Easter Road side are expecting a tough 90 minutes at Dens Park.
However, Heckingbottom admits every single game before the split must be seen as crucial as the capital men try to avoid finishing in the bottom half of the table.
He added to Hibs TV: “They’re all important games. We’re looking now at seven games left to try to get into the top-six.
“So, that makes every game vital, no matter who we’re playing.
“That’s going to be our approach, so we’ll try to prepare properly for each of the teams and try to set up in the right way.
“We’ll give everything, like the boys did on Saturday, and then I can’t ask any more.”