Injury-hit PNE striker Maguire in race to face Wolves

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Sean Maguire is a doubt for Preston’s clash with league leaders Wolves because of a hamstring injury.

The striker lasted less than half-an-hour of the 2-2 draw with Fulham but still had time to score and claim an assist.

Sean Maguire is helped off by PNE physio Matt Jackson at Fulham

Sean Maguire is helped off by PNE physio Matt Jackson at Fulham

PNE manager Alex Neil admitted hamstring injuries were always a worry and that Maguire had been a big miss after coming off last week.

Neil said: “Sean is going to be a doubt, anything to do with a hamstring is going to be a concern.

“I thought it was a major blow for us at Fulham when he was injured.

“If you look at the game, he created the first goal and then scored the second.

“There was another one when he could have got a shot away but didn’t quite shift the ball quickly enough.

“That was all within 30 minutes on the pitch, which is good going.

“I’m convinced that if Sean had stayed on the pitch we would have won the game.”

North End’s concern over Maguire is being shared by the Republic of Ireland with their World Cup play-off clash with Dermark looming large.

He earned his first senior cap against Moldova earlier in the month and was on the bench for the win over Wales which won them their 
play-off slot.

Ahead of Maguire’s July move to North End, he scored 20 goals for Cork City to push them towards the League of Ireland title.

On Tuesday, Cork finished the job with a goalless draw against Derry City.

Maguire and Lilywhites team-mate Kevin O’Connor, who made the same move, will both get a winners’ medal.

Elsewhere on the injury front ahead of the Wolves trip, there was more encouraging news from Neil concerning the other two other players who were substituted against Fulham.

Tom Barkhuizen and Ben Pearson came off during the second half.

Said Neil: “Tom had cramp, he’d worked his socks off out there after not training for a week-and-a-half.

“Ben had been out for a long period of time and gave what he had.

“We had Calum Woods too who hadn’t played a lot this season.

“Fulham pushed their full-backs up and Calum was up against Ryan Sessegnon, who is very aggressive and quick.

“Calum had a lot of ground to cover so he was feeling it at the end.”

Bearing in mind the work put in at Fulham, Neil says he has had to tailor the training this week.

“The lads were tired after last week’s game, they put so much into it,” said Neil.

“I’ve had to monitor the training load this week to make sure we have plenty in the tank for Saturday.”