Sean Maguire is impressed with how Callum Robinson has shown his versatility in Preston’s forward line.
Maguire has been reduced to the role of a spectator this season by a hamstring injury, only returning to action last week against Wigan.
In his watching brief from the sidelines, PNE striker Maguire liked what he saw from Robinson both on the wing and down the middle.
“Robbo has been flying,” said Maguire.
“Towards the end of last season he scored a lot of vital goals and we just missed out on the play-offs.
“This season he has been our best player.
“When I went to Preston, I would say that Robbo was more of a winger.
“He’s since developed into a No.9 and that’s down to the gaffer moving him there. I’ve played on the wing at times for Preston, Robbo has played on the wing, and both of us can do a job at a No.9.
“If anyone has looked at the games which we have started together, we interchanged all the time.
“I’m sure we can develop as a partnership with both club and country.”
Maguire and Robinson are with the Republic of Ireland squad building up to the UEFA Nations League games against Denmark and Wales.
The Irish face Denmark in Dublin tomorrow night and then host Wales on Tuesday.
Robinson is in contention to start against the Danes but Maguire’s role is likely to be a lesser one.
Maguire is only just back from his two-month lay-off with the damaged hamstring tendon sustained at the tail end of pre-season.
Bearing in mind he had a similar injury in the other leg last season – one which saw him out of four months – an air of caution is needed. There has been dialogue between North End and the Irish coaching staff over Maguire’s workload.
While this season’s lay-off was shorter, the 24-year-old found it harder to cope with than last term’s.
Said Maguire: “These past 10 weeks have probably been the toughest of my career.
“Last season’s injury was my first one and it flew by in comparison.
“This time I was watching the boys struggle, we’ve been bottom of the league.
“It was a huge lift coming on last Saturday.
“I feel like I’m coming in at a good time after we’ve won our second game of the season.
“That was a crucial result and we headed into the break with some confidence.
“After the break we’ve got five games coming up that we feel we can win.”
Alan Browne completes a trio of North End players in the Ireland squad, the midfielder standing a strong chance of featuring.