Preston North End v Liverpool: Cup clash is the first chance for Preston North End to redeem themselves after derby defeat

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Preston North End must pick themselves up off the canvas after their derby blow at Blackpool and get ready for Liverpool’s visit to Deepdale in the Carabao Cup.

Defeat at Bloomfield Road hit hard, the mood one of anger among the North End faithful since the weekend.

It wasn’t just the 2-0 scoreline which hurt, the manner of the loss in that PNE didn’t land any major blows on their hosts and it was all a bit too straightforward for Blackpool, causing most angst for fans.

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Just 24 hours after the derby defeat, North End watched their next opponents Liverpool demolish Manchester United 5-0 at Old Trafford.

Preston North End striker Sean MaguirePreston North End striker Sean Maguire
Preston North End striker Sean Maguire

Although the big names are set to stay at home and it will be more of a second-string Reds’ side which comes to Deepdale, it’s still a huge test coming PNE’s way.

Sean Maguire is well aware of that and the North End striker is desperate for amends to be made in the fourth-round tie.

He played the last 25 minutes on Saturday, making a return to action as a substitute following three weeks out nursing a hamstring injury.

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“The Liverpool game is a big one but the matches after in the league matter the most because we need to put points on the board,” said Maguire.

“We need to make things right and we will be looking to do that.

“Saturday was a tough one to take, we know how much it hurt the fans.”

You do feel a coat of gloss has been taken off facing Liverpool by reason of the defeat on the Fylde coast.

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But by the same token, a good run in the cup is what fans have always wanted and this is a rare visit for North End to the fourth round of this competition in its various sponsors’ guises.

Maguire was a Liverpool fan as a youngster growing up in Ireland. A few times a year he would fly over with his family to watch a game at Anfield.

Naturally he is looking forward to the opportunity of playing against them.

Said Maguire: “My role model growing up was Michael Owen. Robbie Fowler and Steven Gerrard were players I admired too. Then when I got older it was Fernando Torres and Xavi Alonso.

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“I was always a Liverpool fan but when you start playing football you don’t pay as much attention to other teams.

“It will still be a proud occasion for my family and friends.

“When I was a kid I got to go over plenty of times to watch Liverpool, perhaps three or four times a year.

“In Ireland, Liverpool and Manchester United are the main teams. On a Friday night and Saturday morning, the flights over from Ireland were always packed.”

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Maguire doubts it will be Mo Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alisson who walk out of the tunnel at Deepdale.

A better indication would be a glance down the Red’s team-sheet for their 3-0 win at Norwich City in the third round.

Takumi Minamino (2) and Divock Origi were the scorers at Carrow Road last month, others who played included Joe Gomez, Ibrahima Konte, Curtis Jones and goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher.

There was 45 minutes in that game for Naby Kieta too but he was a starter at Old Trafford on Sunday and was to leave the pitch on a stretcher with an ankle injury.

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Said Maguire: “Liverpool won’t play the team they did on Sunday against Manchester United.

“But there will be a number of first-team players who have been around it who will get a game.

“Liverpool have a way of playing whoever the personnel are.

“I remember seeing the team that played against Norwich in the last round.

“They made a number of changes but still won 3-0.

“Whether it is a young player or someone who has been on the fringes, they will come in and do a job.

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“We have a job to do and I’m looking forward to the game. It will be a packed house at Deepdale.

“The atmosphere will be different than it was at Blackpool. Hopefully we can play well and the fans bring their voices.

“We are underdogs, most teams who play Liverpool in the Premier League and Champions League are.

“We know what the task is and we want to cause a shock.

“As a team we want to come out on the other side feeling proud of ourselves.

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“Saturday was not a nice feeling at all, we know how the fans feel about that result.

“There is no point feeling sorry for ourselves, that isn’t going to get us anywhere.

“This is the next game and we want to do well."

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