Sean Maguire happy to battle for Preston North End cause

Sean Maguire has started the last seven games in Preston's forward line
Sean Maguire has started the last seven games in Preston's forward line

Battle-hardened striker Sean Maguire is ready to meet the challenge of helping Preston continue their climb up the Championship table.

The Irishman has started the last seven matches and at Millwall last weekend was on target with his second goal since returning from a lay-off with hamstring trouble.

Maguire initially came back into the North End team in a left-sided role.

However, he had led from the front in the No.9 position since the derby win at Bolton earlier in the month.

In the last couple of games especially, Maguire has had a big challenge to meet in the shape in physical defenders not willing to give him an inch.

He was singled out for some very close attention by Nottingham Forest’s defence and then again at Millwall.

Maguire though, has been happy to pick himself up and get on with the job.

“We’ve come up against every challenge and dealt with it well,” Maguire told the Post.

“The other week we had Norwich, a ball-playing team at home, and the last couple of games we knew were going to be more physical.

“I’ve a few knocks and bruises after Saturday but the most important thing for me was to get through the 90 minutes and it was great to get another goal.

“For the last six or seven weeks I have been versatile in my game.

“I’ve played out wide, as a No.10 at times and the last few games I’ve been a No.9.

“I was really happy playing as a No.9 because I feel that’s my strongest suit.”

Next for PNE is Saturday’s Deepdale clash with Bristol City, a club who they have gone toe to toe with now for many seasons.

They came up together from League One in 2015 and both clubs have designs on the play-offs – the Robins having the stronger hand at present.

Maguire hopes North End can stretch their unbeaten run at the weekend to a ninth game.

“We just need to enjoy the games ahead,” said Maguire.

“The last seven or eight games we’ve been back to our best, in terms of where we were last season.

“If we keep winning and picking up three points here and there then you don’t know where it’s going to take us.

“We have big game against Bristol City now which we’ll be ready for.”

Maguire was pleased with his goal at Millwall, a fine pass from Paul Gallagher putting him through to score.

Not since Sunderland last March had he found the net in an away game.

Said Maguire: “That should be bread and butter for me.

“Balls slipped between centre-backs and one on one with the goalkeeper, I fancy myself nine times out of 10 to put those away.”