Daryl Horgan is glad to count Aiden McGeady as a team-mate but reckons that the Ireland winger should be plying his trade in the top tier.
The duo are helping Preston push for a promotion play-off place in the Championship with Horgan fitting in quickly after his switch from Dundalk in January, and McGeady in fine form with four goals in his last eight games.
The 30-year-old is on loan from Everton with the Lilywhites, who are currently five points off sixth-placed Sheffield Wednesday.
As Martin O’Neill’s side prepare for the World Cup qualifier against Wales on Friday (7.45pm, live on RTÉ2 and RTÉ 2fm), Horgan was full of praise for McGeady, who has 86 Ireland caps.
“He’s been unreal, brilliant for us,” Horgan told RTÉ Sport.
“The manager [Simon Grayson] has given him that bit of freedom, that bit of confidence, probably that he hasn’t had in the last while.
“He’s thrived on it, he’s been our best player. He’s someone, when you’re under a bit of pressure, he’ll pick the ball up, he’ll run 30 yards, he’ll stick it in the top [corner].
“If you’ve someone like that in your team, you’re delighted and we’re delighted to have him at Preston but he definitely could be playing at a higher level.”
Horgan was an unused substitute when Ireland beat Austria last November and would love to get his first cap on Friday, but admits that he has a fight on his hands to force his way into O’Neill’s plans.
“That will be up to the manager and he probably has a few players ahead of me in the pecking order,” said the 24-year-old Galway man.
“I’m obviously very inexperienced at this level so I might be a bit down the line but I’m going to go in, train all week, do as best I can, and show him what I have.
“Hopefully I can be a part of it; I’d love to play some part of it.
“If it came up I’d take off my left arm right now to be honest. But it will be very difficult to get in the team for the game.
“Fingers crossed we get three points and if I play some part, fantastic.”