Daryl Horgan believes that the Stephen Kenny jigsaw is almost complete, and is now just missing one tiny piece, albeit the most important piece. 

The Wycombe Wanderers winger, who was only called into the squad as a result of the ongoing Covid crisis in the squad, came on as a late substitute in Sunday's scoreless draw with Wales and made an immediate impact, raiding down the right flank and spurned a great chance to grab a winner. 

And Horgan believes that the team performance was almost perfect throughout the 90 minutes and was just missing one vital aspect; putting the ball in the back of the net. 

"I thought we were very, very good for pretty much 90 minutes," said Horgan, speaking to the media after the match. 

"We controlled long spells of it, had chances, but just failed to put the ball in the back of the net. 

"If we can get that last bit then we will be very strong because everything else was very good." 

Horgan said that Ireland are perhaps just missing that little bit of good fortune to go their way and hoped that once the first goal comes, then the floodgates might open. 

Ireland have scored just once in Stephen Kenny’s four games in charge, and that goal came from a set-piece in Bulgaria, while they only managed one shot on target against Wales, which was a tame effort by Jeff Hendrick late in the game. 

Yet Horgan really does feel that the Ireland team will be complete once they find a way of hitting the back of the net. 

"That’s why the best centre-forwards go for €100m, because they are good at it and it’s natural," said Horgan. 

"It could be just a case of when we get one, they will flow. It might just be a bit of confidence or luck or whatever you want to call it.

"Maybe on Wednesday someone will just hit someone on the arse and it goes in, and it just goes from there. 

"It’s easier said than done to fix it because the rest of it is very good and you can see what the manager is putting in place, and the way he wants us to play, and we are creating chances. 

"Now it is just the last tiny detail, but the most important detail." 

Horgan said he was delighted to get back involved with the squad having felt more like a fan in recent times when not involved with the Ireland set-up. 

But he said he was always ready to seize the opportunity should it present itself, and no doubt, the former Dundalk man, who previously played with Kenny at the Oriel Park club, is one player who is not cursing the Covid crisis as it handed him his route back into the squad. 

"It was great to get the call," said Horgan. "It is something I wasn’t expecting but it wasn’t something that I would turn down. 

"I had stuff to do with the family in England, but the opportunity came up and I went for it. To get another cap is incredible. 

"I was like a fan really and wanted them to do well but once you’ve had a taste of it you just want to be involved all the time. 

"So it was always in the back of my mind to play and perform, get into the setup and see if I can affect games. So to get the opportunity was brilliant.

"It helps [having played under Kenny before]. It is a similar enough way of playing but with a few differences." 

And while Horgan revealed that he only got to join up with the squad at the last minute, awaiting Covid clearances for himself and Sean Maguire as new arrivals and the squad’s own testing process, he said that a chat with coach Damian Duff really helped him to get an idea about what was being asked of him in the squad. 

"I spoke to Duff and he outlined what he wanted very clearly," said Horgan.

"So when you have that transparency and the clarity going out onto the pitch, it is a big, big help." 

Despite all the commotion on and off the pitch over the past few days, Horgan said the squad are remaining in fine spirits and he believes that the best way to deal with the lingering threat of Covid is to just roll with it. 

"It’s crazy and it is something that is probably going on everywhere; you just have to roll with the punches and follow the guidelines.

"It’s a tough one to stomach for the boys who missed out. You just roll with it as much as you can. 

"The mood has been good – me and Sean came in yesterday and were kept apart from the rest of the squad until the results came back. 

"It’s a great group to come into, great lads and the atmosphere is good. But everyone around the world is a little bit on edge. It’s a strange time for everybody."