Sean Maguire’s movement catches Preston North End manager’s eye

Preston striker Sean Maguire
Preston striker Sean Maguire

Sean Maguire’s movement and his willingness to play across the front line can help Preston climb the Championship table says boss Alex Neil.

The Irish striker’s start in the 1-0 win at Bristol City was his third since returning to the squad after injury.

He set the ball rolling for North End’s winner at Ashton Gate, playing a fine cross-field pass to open up the Robins’ defence.

And Maguire featured in a number of counter-attacks, playing both centrally and in wider positions.

PNE manager Neil said: “Sean was excellent on Saturday, he took the ball in well and moved away from defenders.

“He drifts into wide areas too which benefits us.

“At Bristol City I thought our front lads interchanged really well.

“We did that well last year because Sean is as comfortable playing wide as he is down the middle.

“If you look back at our goal against Bristol City, he found himself wide, Daniel Johnson became the No.9 in that move and Callum Robinson finished off from the left side.

“That is something we talk about quite regularly, the need to interchange and fill the gaps across the front.

“We did that so well at the weekend and I want to see us do that again.”

Maguire missed the first two months of the campaign after damaging a hamstring tendon in the final pre-season friendly of the summer.

The 24-year-old has come off the bench three times in addition to the three starts.

He is currently with the Republic of Ireland squad for their games against Northern Ireland and Denmark in the international break.

Neil was impressed with all aspects of North End’s play at Bristol City.

Focusing on what they did going forward, Neil said: “Our use of the ball up to the front was better.

“Our retention of the ball at the top end of the pitch was better than it had been.

“We played away from the pressure in the middle of the pitch and counter-attacked better than of late.

“If you combine those things it means you are going in the right direction.

“It allowed us to create more chances and it would have been nice to score more than the one goal.

“But that goal was enough to win the game and getting our first away victory was very important.”

Meanwhile, tickets are on sale for North End’s visit to Birmingham on December 1.

Prices are among the more reasonable in the division, with adults charged £20.

Tickets are £15 for seniors (Over-65s) and 19-24 year-olds.

They cost £10 for 13-18 year-olds, while it is £5 for Under-13s at St Andrews.