Striker Sean Maguire welcomes David Nugent’s return to Preston North End
Sean Maguire has welcomed the competition which David Nugent will bring to Preston’s forward line.
The Irishman will be one of the players jostling for the striker’s role with Nugent in the season ahead.
Rather than have a fear of such competition, Maguire sees it as positive as he gets ready for his third campaign in a North End shirt.
“I think David Nugent is what we need,” Maguire told the Lancashire Post.
“You need to be kept on your toes in training and know someone is pushing you for your place in the team.
“We have four strikers who are fighting for one spot and it is great to see Nuge come in.
“He is a legend at Preston for the goals he scored and twice getting the club so close to promotion.
“He wants to help us get to the Premier League and has the experience of having done that at other clubs in the past.”
Nugent, who officially joins PNE on August 1, is currently recovering from a knee injury sustained playing for Derby in the play-offs.
The 34-year-old is set to be at Deepdale tomorrow to watch North End’s clash with Southampton (3pm).
It is the only home match of the pre-season programme and the Saints will provide a stern test for Alex Neil’s men.
Maguire said: “It is good to play a Premier League side and it will be a different type of test to what we’ve had so far.
“Last year we played West Ham and Burnley at this stage and did quite well.
“Southampton have some quality players and they will be wanting to impress.
“It will be great to be back at Deepdale, it seems a long while since we played here.
“Hopefully there will be a decent crowd and we can see where we are at in terms of our sharpness. After this we have only got Bolton and Fleetwood to play and then the season starts at Millwall.
“Everyone is looking sharp in training, competition for places is high, so we are in good shape at the moment.”
Some of the Preston squad could be pushed nearer to the 90-minute mark tomorrow as Alex Neil begins to fine-tune ready for the season’s kick-off.
At AFC Fylde and Chorley in the past week he changed the outfield players at the hour mark but the time has come for longer run-outs.
North End boss Neil hopes to have Brad Potts and skipper Tom Clarke back in action.
Potts has not played in the pre-season friendlies due to discomfort in the knee he had surgery on in April.
However, the midfielder has had an injection in the knee joint to calm it down and will hopefully be fit enough to play some part tomorrow.
Clarke missed the Chorley game due to a sickness bug and should return.