Preston North End striker 'grumpy' that first Championship goal for 11 months didn't count for more

Sean Maguire admits his mood was ‘grumpy’ over the weekend even after getting on the scoresheet in the league for the first time in almost 11 months.

Monday, 22nd November 2021, 4:45 pm

The 27-year-old found the net just 90 seconds into Preston North End’s clash with Cardiff City at Deepdale on Saturday.

Not since December 29 last year had Maguire scored in Championship action, his one goal this season coming in the Carabao Cup.

The weekend’s early strike was to count for nothing in terms of points, with North End conceding twice in the second half to allow Cardiff to take the points back to Wales.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Preston North End striker Sean Maguire battles with Cardiff's Curtis Nelson

Defeat piles the importance on Tuesday night’s visit to Teesside to face Middlesbrough – now under Chris Wilder – at the Riverside Stadium.

Reflecting on events at the weekend, Maguire told the Lancashire Post: “It was nice to score and start the game off well, thinking we could go on and win it.

“Looking back, it doesn’t feel like I scored though, because in the end the goal counted for nothing.

“The older I’m getting, I’m more appreciative of the team and wanting to win.

Sean Maguire scores for PNE against Cardiff at Deepdale

“Losing on Saturday meant that night and for the rest of the weekend I was just a grump.

“It is all well and good being selfish and saying, ‘Yes, I scored a goal’ but we lost.

“When I was younger I would have been buzzing about scoring any goal even if we’d lost. Now I just think about the team.

“It was Monday morning before I felt back to myself.

“The good thing about the Championship is that with 46 games, there is another one to play straight away.”

Maguire does not think his confidence dipped due to the lack of goals, certainly not this season. His reasoning behind that is the role he has been playing under Frankie McAvoy.

Since late August, he has tended to partner Emil Riis up front, with the pair having struck up a very decent understanding.

The emphasis of Maguire’s game has been placed more on being part of the supply line to Riis. Said Maguire: “I’ve been quite happy with the way I’ve played this season.

“I’m playing a different role this season than to previous seasons under Alex Neil where I mainly played off the left or played up front on my own.

“This season I have sort of been played as a false nine type of thing where I have found myself not getting in the box as much.

“I’ve been playing up there with Emil who has had a terrific start to the season and long may that continue.

“When I look at the stats, one goal in 10 starts or whatever it is might not make for good reading.

“But I’m looking beyond that, it’s about the team and helping this club trying to reach its goals.

“There is no ‘I’ in team, I’m a team player and what counts is us putting points on the board.”

Maguire uses the word ‘weird’ to describe the game against Cardiff, in that North End played well during the first half but fell away from those standards so much in the second.

It was a second defeat on the bounce, following the 3-0 reverse at Nottingham Forest before the international break.

The Republic of Ireland international said: “It was a bit weird in that the two halves were polar opposites.

“We had complete control of the first half and could have gone in two or three goals ahead. In the second half Cardiff were on the front foot and had a couple of chances before equalising.

“In the second half it only looked like one team were going to win it and that was Cardiff, we didn’t do enough to get a result from it.

“They had made the one change at half-time, James Collins coming on for the younger lad. I don’t know why one player should have made the difference on the game but they came out firing and at times it was relentless.”

PNE head north next to face a Boro side who sit two points and two places above them in the table.

Former Sheffield United boss Wilder was brought in to replace Neil Warnock at the start of the international break, the Teessiders hoping he can repeat there what he did with the Blades.

Maguire said: “They have a new manager in and I think this is only his second game.

“It will have meant a fresh start for everyone there.

“This is Chris Wilder’s first job since Sheffield United and he will be looking to make his mark.

“It will be a tough game for us but apart from last season’s result, we have quite a good record at the Riverside Stadium. We need to respond to what happened on Saturday against Cardiff and get a positive result.”

Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 month for the first two months. Try us today by clicking here