Preston striker Sean Maguire admitted his first goal for 10 months was a big moment in his quest to hit peak form.
The 24-year-old fired PNE’s third goal in the 3-1 victory over Norwich at Deepdale on Wednesday night.
Maguire had not found the net since scoring against Leeds last April.
Two hamstring injuries had since sidelined him but encouragingly the Norwich clash was his fifth start on the bounce.
“It was a big goal for me,” said Maguire.
“I have been getting back to my best slowly but surely.
“I know a lot of people, fans included, had to be patient in the last year or so.
“That was my first league goal since last April, I’ve had a frustrating time ever since with injuries.
“I have been back in the team in the last few weeks and picking up wins has obviously been a great feeling.
“On a personal level it is great to be back among the goals, a big lift.
“I should have scored the chance I had at Bolton last week – I back myself to score goals.
“When I’m in the team I’m there to score, so to finally get one was great.
“It came at a really crucial time because Norwich were starting to get on top of us around the 25-minute mark of the second half.
“So we scored at the right time to make it 3-0.”
Maguire had Alan Browne to thank for the assist with his goal.
It was Browne’s volley from 30 yards which crashed back off the bar and into the path of Maguire, who finished very well it must be said.
“To be fair, Browney said before the game he was going to assist me so he was true to his word,” said Maguire.
“Everyone was thinking the shot was going to go in when it left his foot but I took a gamble that the keeper was going to save it or, as it did, it hit the cross bar and came out to me.
“It was about taking a touch and hitting it as hard as I could – I hit it sweetly.
“I got over the ball and got it high into the net.
“I can push on now, I’ve got a couple of assists this season but my game is about scoring a lot of goals.”
The Lilywhites’ clash with Nottingham Forest today will see Maguire meet up with two men who shaped his career at international level.
Forest boss Martin O’Neill and his assistant Roy Keane gave Maguire his debut with the Republic of Ireland.
Said Maguire: “I watched Forest’s game the other night on TV and it was strange to see all the former Ireland staff in Forest gear.
“Martin and Roy gave me my international debut so it will be great to see them. It should be a great game.”