Attacking partnership is flourishing for Preston North End says Sean Maguire

Sean Maguire is enjoying the partnership with Emil Riis in Preston North End’s attack, his Danish team-mate having come on ‘leaps and bounds’ this season.

Saturday, 25th September 2021, 8:00 am

The pair have started PNE’s last four Championship games together, with them playing the majority of Tuesday’s win over Cheltenham Town in the Carabao Cup.

Maguire came off the bench as an early substitute against the Robins, both strikers finding the net late in the contest.

The 27-year-old has seen a change in Riis since the squad reported back in the summer.

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Sean Maguire celebrates his goal in midweek with Emil Riis (No.19) in the background

It is progress he hopes can be continued as North End look to extend their unbeaten run of form – they travel to St Andrew’s to face Birmingham City today.

Maguire said: “When you put Emil is certain situations he has shown a lot more composure. It’s actually mad how hard he hits the ball.

“If Emil puts his head down and hits the target, I don’t think too many goalkeepers stand a chance.

“You saw the goal he scored on Tuesday night and how well he struck that.

“It will be good for him and good for us if he can keep the goals coming.

“In the next couple of games he could be hitting 10 goals for the season.

“When you have a striker like that alongside you, it’s good to play with.

“Hopefully we can get more out of the partnership in the months to come.

“You can see that we are bouncing off each other, reading the flick-ons. We have mixed and matched in terms of our play.

“Sometimes I will drop short and Emil plays long, sometimes it’s the other way round. Emil’s hold-up play has come on leaps and bounds.”

Maguire is pleased with the support Riis and himself are getting from the wings and midfield.

The wing-back positions are crucial to North End’s forward play in Maguire’s eyes.

“There are some situations when you need to get into a block and defend,” said Maguire, who is in his fifth season at Deepdale.

“You can see that what we have done well, though, is to get Josh Earl and Sepp van den Berg really high up the pitch to support the front two.

“It can be tough when it’s just two of us playing against a back four or five.”

Maguire was a substitute on Tuesday for the injured Connor Wickham, PNE head coach Frankie McAvoy having hoped to give him more of a breather on the bench.

McAvoy said: “You have certain plans in place if a game is going your way. I was hoping we might be able to bring Joe Rodwell-Grant on and get Adam O’Reilly involved.

“Unfortunately injuries meant we couldn’t do that.”