CONOR Hourihane was named on the Sky Bet Championship Team of the Week after impressing on his first start for Sheffield United.
The Bandon man, on loan with the Blades from Aston Villa for the season, was handed his first start for his new club in their Championship clash with Hull City last Saturday – and he grabbed his chance to impress.
Twice in the second half, Hourihane and his fellow Cork man John Egan linked up to devastating effect. The former Bandon FC underage star, and his pinpoint delivery, set up two goals for Egan as United won 3-1 to climb up the table.
Goal-scoring hero Egan, who knows Hourihane well from the Republic of Ireland set-up, was full of praise for his fellow Cork man as the Bandon and Bishopstown connection proved to be a match-winner – two Hourihane corners led to two Egan headed goals.
‘We got two, luckily for me I got two goals so we can take that forward, we need to be more of a threat from set-pieces, it’s a great weapon to have. Conor (Hourihane) came in and put two balls right on my head so that shows the threat he’s got with his left foot as well,’ Egan said.
United, relegated from the Premier League last season, have now taken seven points from the last nine available and are up to 15th in the Championship table as they rebound from a poor start to the campaign.
Hourihane had come on as a sub in United’s previous two games but was unleashed from the start last Saturday, deployed at the base of midfield. Tidy in possession as usual, Hourihane made an impact with his delivery from corners that led to Egan’s goals. United had not scored from a set-piece all season – but their Bandon man has changed all that and given them a new weapon.