Preston North End striker Sean Maguire hopes the Lilywhites can hang on to Callum Robinson

Callum Robinson congratulates David McGoldrick after the Republic of Ireland's opening goal against Gibraltar
Callum Robinson congratulates David McGoldrick after the Republic of Ireland's opening goal against Gibraltar

Sean Maguire hopes that Preston North End can hang on to his Lilywhites and Republic of Ireland team-mate Callum Robinson.

The Deepdale duo featured in the Irish’s 2-0 victory over Gibraltar on Monday night.

Sean Maguire (right) watches on as Robbie Brady heads Republic of Ireland's second goal against Gibraltar

Sean Maguire (right) watches on as Robbie Brady heads Republic of Ireland's second goal against Gibraltar

Robinson stood out as their star player in the 73 minutes he was on the pitch, with Maguire joining the action as a sub in the second half.

It was an eighth cap for 24-year-old Robinson since declaring for the Irish at the start of last season – he had previously played for England at five age levels.

Maguire said: “Robbo is a bubbly character.

“He’s new to this group like I am and he doesn’t shy away from it.

“You saw the quality from him out on the pitch, he can make something happen out of nothing.

“Just give Robbo a bit of time and he will shine on the international stage.

“We saw glimpses during the Gibraltar game where he turned defenders inside out and he was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet.

“I like playing with Robbo because the two of us interchange – if it’s Robbo out on the left-wing and myself at No.9, we can keep swapping and that’s what the gaffer likes back in Preston.

“Hopefully Robbo stays with us.

“ I know he has a year left on his contract and it’s a big year for him – it’s a big year for me as well.

“Robbo can be anything he wants, I’ve seen it in games and training and hopefully he keeps improving.”

The victory over minnows Gibraltar, however uninspiring it was, kept Mick McCarthy’s side top of the group.

Maguire was pleased to see action after only being an unused sub in last week’s 1-1 draw with Denmark.

His latest cap came at the end of a season which was twice interrupted by injuries to his hamstring.

The 25-year-old scored three goals for North End, those coming in the space of seven games.

On Monday night, he didn’t get the chance to open his goal account at international level.

“I was hoping to get a sniff at goal but it wasn’t to be,” said Maguire.

“When I came on, they went five at the back which tightened things up.

“From the outside, people will be saying that we should be beating Gibraltar 4-0 or 5-0.

“But in the modern game, teams will sit in and make life really difficult.”