Maguire booster for PNE

Alex Neil is hoping to have Sean Maguire back fit in time for Preston's Deepdale clash with Brentford on Saturday.

Monday, 23rd October 2017, 12:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 10:55 am
Sean Maguire could be back in the PNE squad against Brentford

The Irish striker missed the weekend’s defeat at Wolves with a hamstring injury which he suffered against Fulham.

But PNE boss Neil says it is not a long-term problem and expects to see him back for the Bees’ visit.

“Sean was just going to miss the Wolves game,” Neil told the Post.

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“We are hoping he is going to be ready for the weekend.”

That would be a boost for the Republic of Ireland as well, bearing in mind their World Cup play-off games against Denmark are coming up next month.

Maguire, who won his first senior cap earlier in the month against Moldova, will give the Irish squad another attacking option.

In the absence of Maguire, Neil chose to play Josh Harrop on the left-hand side of the attack. It proved a tough afternoon for Harrop, who gave away the penalty which led to Wolves’ second goal.

However, replays showed that the former Manchester United youngster had got to the ball in his challenge on Matt Doherty.

Should Maguire prove his fitness in time for Saturday, Neil has another vacancy to fill in the attacking line.

Alan Browne’s red card in the Wolves game will see him serve a one-match ban.

Browne has played in the No.10 role of late and Neil does have options to replace him.

Harrop could shuffle across from the left to play more centrally.

Maguire has played that role to good effect before, 
giving him the chance to play off Hugill.

Another option could be Stephy Mavididi who came on as a substitute at Wolves as Preston chased the game.

He played up front next to Hugill as Neil switched system and went 4-4-2.

Mavididi, on a season’s loan from Arsenal, probably made more of an impact at Molineux than he had done in his other games in PNE colours.

In terms of other selection issues, Paul Gallagher was on the bench at Wolves for the first time since recovering from a bout of shingles.

There was no John Welsh in the squad, the experienced midfielder understood to be injured.

With him missing, Preston included first-year scholar Jack Baxter in the travelling squad at Wolves.

Baxter, 16, did not make the bench but had been given the No.33 squad number.