Preston North End striker Sean Maguire prepared for hectic opening spell

Deepdale striker Sean Maguire is expecting a busy start to the season – at home and abroad.

Thursday, 20th August 2020, 12:30 pm

That is because part of Maguire’s early-season action – and that of PNE team-mate Alan Browne – could well include a stint of international duty with the Republic of Ireland.

They are due to play Nations League games against Bulgaria and Finland in early September, with only pre-season games and a Carabao Cup tie for preparation.

Maguire said: “We are due to play on September 3 and 6, with the league season starting on September 12.

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Alan Browne (left) and Sean Maguire will hope to be in action BEFORE the start of Preston’s Championship season

“It seems a bit strange having international matches before the start of the (league) season with your club.

“We’ve got the new gaffer Stephen Kenny and I’m sure he will want to have a look at the whole squad in those two games.

“It will be nice to get the chance to show the new manager what I can do – it’s a fresh slate for everyone.”

Maguire knows that the high-intensity start to the campaign will likely mean that Preston boss Alex Neil will likely have to rotate his squad more than would be usual.

But the frontman believes that the Lilywhites will rise to the challenge and find the consistency required to push into the higher reaches of the Championship.

“The season starts a few weeks later than normal so a lot of games need to be fitted into a short period, that will mean more midweek games,” he said.

“As a team we have to be more consistent this season.

“Last season we went top of the league in November and for much of the season were around the top six.

“I think we can challenge again. With a couple of new faces and keeping everyone fit, fingers crossed we can be up there.”