"He's been plagued with them": Preston sweating on Sean Maguire's hamstring injury after striker limps out of Republic of Ireland's draw with Northern Ireland

Sean Maguire gave Preston North End an injury headache on Thursday night after limping out of the Republic of Ireland's clash with Northern Ireland.

Sean Maguire challenges with Jamal Lewis during the Republic of Ireland's goalless draw with Northern Ireland
Sean Maguire challenges with Jamal Lewis during the Republic of Ireland's goalless draw with Northern Ireland

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Preston North End forward Callum Robinson relishing international football with ...

The striker lasted just 14 minutes on the pitch having come on as a substitute for his Lilywhites team-mate Callum Robinson.

Maguire pulled up with a hamstring problem, the type of injury which had dogged him in the last 12 months or so at Deepdale.

Speaking after the game, Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill said: “It looks like a hamstring again and really unfortunate as he’s been plagued with them recently.

“It is a blow to us, the lad and his club. I don’t know how serious it is at the moment.”

Injury has prevented the 24-year-old getting a decent run of games at PNE.

In October last year, Maguire suffered a damaged hamstring tendon and was out for four months after needing surgery to repair it.

Preston striker Callum Robinson in action for the Republic of Ireland against Northern Ireland in Dublin on Thursday night

Despite the long lay-off, he still managed to score 10 league goals.

In the final pre-season friendly in July, Maguire got a similar injury although did not require an operation.

However, it still kept him sidelined for the first two months of the campaign.

Maguire returned to action last month and has featured in six games – three starts and three from the bench.

At Bristol City last week he looked sharp and match fit, playing a key role in the 1-0 victory.

Thursday's clash at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin was a friendly, visitors Northern Ireland having the better of it.

PNE top-scorer Robinson had started the game up front for the Republic, collecting his fifth senior cap.

He gave way to Maguire in the 66th minute but the sub was forced to exit the action in the 80th minute, pulling up with no one near him.

It is likely that Maguire will return to Deepdale today to have the injury assessed by the North End medical staff.

While scoring goals has not been a problem for PNE this season, being without the striker for any length of time will be a blow.

The former Cork City man can play as the No.9 or out wide, his interchanging with Robinson at Ashton Gate last Saturday impressing North End manager Alex Neil.

Neil said: “I thought Sean was excellent on Saturday, he took the ball in well and moved away from defenders.

“He drifts into wide areas too which benefits us.

“At Bristol City I thought our front lads interchanged really well.

“We did that well last year because Sean is as comfortable playing wide as he is down the middle.”

Alan Browne didn’t make the matchday squad for last night’s game.