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Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill vows to take care with Sean Maguire as Preston striker looks to kick on

Preston North End striker Sean Maguire says a strong mentality has helped him cope with the two hamstring injuries which have sidelined him in the past year.

Maguire made his return to PNE’s squad in last Saturday’s 4-0 win over Wigan Athletic following a two-month lay-off.

Last season he was forced to sit out four months after needing surgery.

The 24-year-old is with the Republic of Ireland squad for their UEFA Nations Cup games against Denmark and Wales in Dublin.

Reflecting on how he has dealt with being out, Maguire said: “I think every player is different.

“I feel that I’m mentally strong, having had two very serious hamstring injuries.

Preston striker Sean Maguire is back on international duty

Preston striker Sean Maguire is back on international duty

“It’s been a frustrating year. This time last year I didn’t really have injuries – a year on I’ve had two.

“Hopefully I can kick on now for club and country.”

Maguire’s first action of the season came as a 75th-minute substitute against Wigan.

He had pulled up with a tight hamstring in PNE’s final pre-season game at Oldham, which turned out to be a far more serious injury.

Sean Maguire in action on his Preston North End return against Wigan on Saturday

Sean Maguire in action on his Preston North End return against Wigan on Saturday

Maguire going away with the Irish has not surprisingly caused some anxiety at North End, with it being so soon after his return.

A place on the bench is the likely scenario when they take on Denmark on Saturday. 
Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill said: “We’ll look after him and we will monitor his training which we will send back to Preston.

“They will know that we are treating the player in the manner in which we’d like to be treated ourselves.

“Remember he only came on in the last 15 minutes of the match and that was his first piece of action for quite some time. We’ll have a look at him and if Sean can make a little cameo that would be great.”

With regards to his fitness, Maguire said: “I just need to talk to the physios here and keep in touch with Preston.”