Will Sean Maguire keep his place in the Preston North End side to face Brentford? Alex Neil on managing the striker's return
Preston North End boss Alex Neil has a dilemma when it comes to Sean Maguire's involvement against Brentford at Deepdale on Wednesday night.
The 24-year-old, who had only made his first Championship appearance of the season off the bench against Wigan before the international break, got his chance with Tom Barkhuizen out with an ankle injury and Callum Robinson only amongst the substitutes due to illness.
The pair could return against the Bees so whether Maguire keeps his place remains to be seen, PNE having carefully handled his reintroduction after a previous injury last season.
“Last year I thought we managed Seani’s return really well because we had the luxury of being able to do that,” said Neil.
“I wouldn’t say I was forced to play him on Saturday but when Tom and Callum were out I thought he was the best alternative to play in that game.
“Our front three on Saturday didn’t play as well as they can though.
“Lukas Nmecha didn’t hit the heights of the previous two games and overall it was a bit disappointing.”
As Maguire finds his way back once again, Neil insists there is a lot more to come from a striker who scored 10 goals in an injury-hit 2017-18 campaign.
“Last year when he came back and scored a lot of goals and was getting a lot of plaudits and rightly so I said we’d still to see the best of him,” said Neil.
“Pre-season he was flying. His all-round game was excellent, he was scoring goals, he was lively.
“Not only that but the bits other people don’t necessarily notice he did really well.
“He was taking the ball in, keeping it alive for us, he was working in behind.
“All those bits and pieces are what is still to come from him.”