Preston striker Sean Maguire's Oldham substitution a precaution due to tight hamstring reveals Alex Neil

Sean Maguire
Sean Maguire

Preston North End boss Alex Neil says the early substitution of Sean Maguire against Oldham was a precaution due to the striker having a tight hamstring.

MATCH REPORT: Oldham 0-3 Preston North End

Daryl Horgan scored PNE's second goal at Oldham

Daryl Horgan scored PNE's second goal at Oldham

Maguire came off in the 24th minute of the 3-0 victory at Boundary Park, Louis Moult replacing the Irish striker from the bench.

Moult went on to open the scoring for PNE early in the second half with Daryl Horgan and Paul Gallagher also finding the net.

With the start of the season only a week away, any injury is concerning.

But Neil didn't seem overly concerned after the final whistle.

Neil said: "His hamstring tightened up so I wasn't taking any risks, it was the same one as last year.

"I just wanted to take him off and make sure he was okay.

"Sean didn't pull up or anything, if he had hurt that would have been a different matter.

"We are not at the stage at the moment of taking any risks.

"We'll have a look at it in regards to next Saturday but generally if it tightens up, normally it is a day or so.

"I'm not concerned about it."

Neil felt North End had fallen below standard in the first half, it only after half-time that they got themselves going and stamped their mark on the game.

"It was a mixed bag for us, the first 30 minutes were as poor as we have played in a quite a long time - we were second to everything," said Neil.

"I thought Oldham bullied us at the top end of the pitch, bullied us at the bottom end of the pitch, I didn't think we moved the ball quick enough.

"To be honest it looked like we thought we would come here and knock the ball around Oldham which didn't happen.

"It took us to 30 minutes to start to compete, that was unlike us.

"What it does to is get us to understand that if we don't do what we are good at which is competing, running with aggression, having a lot of energy and power, then it is going to be a good afternoon.

"Half-time we made a lot of changes, some of them were scheduled, some weren't.

"We needed a reaction and we got that.

"I'll point out that the dynamics of the game changed because Oldham took their focal point off so we didn't need to deal with that in the second half.

"Having said that, our performance, our energy, our pressing and everything you associate with us, got better."