Sean Maguire’s exclusive column: Clash against Luton is extra special for me

Sean Maguire
Sean Maguire

Scoring against Fulham in midweek was a great feeling and it was brilliant to see David Nugent off the mark too.

I was 12-years-old when Nuge scored his last goal for Preston in 2007 and in the meantime he’s had a great career.

As a young lad, I would sometimes see Nuge play in the Premier League on television, and now I’m playing in the same team.

When Nuge scored it was a big moment for him, the fans and everyone at the club, a feeling of nostalgia almost.

Our win against Fulham was overdue with us having lost the previous for games.

With this division being how it is, I would think most clubs will go through a rough patch like we’ve just done.

Beating Fulham was especially important with them being so close to us in the table. The result kept them within reach.

It was a great game to play in and I thought everyone to a man played well.

Fulham are a good side and even when it was 11 v 11 they made the pitch big with their style of play which meant we had to work that bit harder.

When we both went down to 10 men, that just made the pitch seem even bigger.

It was my first goal for a while and I always get a little bit frustrated if I don’t score.

My main job is to score goals and create them, so recent results have been disappointing.

But I’ve never let myself get down about it or let it knock my confidence. I’ve continued to work hard, knowing eventually it would pay off.

I’ve scored quite a few goals like the one on Tuesday night. When the corner came in and got helped on, all that was in my mind was making a good contact.

I spun and hit the shot well and fortunately it went underneath one of their lads and into the net.

Later in the first half I had another chance on the stretch when I tried to lift it over the keeper’s legs but he made a good save.

Then in the second half I had a left-foot-volley which wasn’t far away.

I thought the second half was a very open game, a bit of a basketball match almost.

Every time we cleared the ball and broke it felt like we were three versus three against their defence.

We could have and should have scored more, so when Fulham pulled one back things got a bit nervous.

Throughout the game though, I thought we pressed Fulham very well.

Studying their statistics before the game, we’d seen they were No.1 for possession in the Championship and had made the fewest long passes out from the back.

Pressing them in the way we did helped disrupt their flow.

I do seem to like scoring against Fulham, that’s three in three for me. A couple of seasons ago I scored down at their place and then here at Deepdale after I’d come back from injury.

Likewise, Aleksandar Mitrovic likes a goal against us doesn’t he?

Mitrovic is one of the best strikers in the division so credit to the lads at the back who kept him quiet until those last few minutes.

Paul Huntington was superb and got the man of the match award, while Patrick Bauer came back in and was excellent.

Hunts has shown these last few games what a great professional he is.

Up to the West Bromwich Albion game, he hasn’t started in the league for 11 months.

So to come into the side and play the way he has done, is testament to how well he has looked after himself and stayed focused.

We were unfortunate to lose the West Brom game when Hunts came in, so I was delighted we got the Fulham victory.

Now our focus in on the Luton game on Saturday.

The game has some extra significance for me because I was born in Luton, although my parents moved to Ireland when I was five months old.

My mum is from Luton and my dad was working there. I’ve got a lot of family who still live in Luton and they will be coming to the game.

As a kid, every summer we would come over to Luton to catch up with family.

I also went to quite a lot of Luton games at Kenilworth Road when they were in the Championship.

It will be nice to have a lot of the family at Deepdale but hopefully I’ll be the one smiling at the final whistle.

It will be a hard game against Luton, they’ve got some good players.

Their results have been a bit mixed but as we’ve seen, this dvision is unpredictable and it comes down to how you are on the day.