Maguire staying ‘positive and optimistic’ amid dry spell in front of goal

SEAN MAGUIRE SAYS he hasn’t paid attention to external criticism of his performances as Preston North End continue their push for promotion to the Premier League.

Despite Tuesday night’s 2-0 defeat to table-toppers West Bromwich Albion, Preston remain in the Championship’s play-off places.

However, Maguire is enduring a barren spell in front of goal for the club, with the attacker failing to find the net in his last 14 outings.

The Republic of Ireland international will hope to end his drought this weekend when Preston travel to face Fulham.

He has a good record against the London outfit, having scored in each of the three games he has played against them since joining Preston from Cork City in 2017.

“I know when I have a good game and when I have a bad game. I don’t need anyone else to tell me really,” he said this morning during Preston’s pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s trip to Craven Cottage.

“As the gaffer keeps telling me, I just need to focus on what is said at the training ground and not listen to things from the outside too much.

“Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but my main focus for myself and the team is to keep winning games and have a successful end to the season.

“Performance wise at times it’s not been great, but I do think sometimes it’s been good as well. As a striker you are judged on goals and it hasn’t been what I had probably hoped for at this stage, but I will stay positive and optimistic.”

Maguire celebrates after scoring for Ireland against New Zealand.

Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

Maguire, who opened his international account while delivering a man-of-the-match display in November’s win against New Zealand, most recently scored for Preston in a 2-1 home victory over this weekend’s opponents on 10 December.

He was full of praise for Preston manager Alex Neil, who has kept faith with the 25-year-old Kilkenny native by starting him in 29 of their 35 Championship games this season.

“I can’t speak highly enough of him,” Maguire said “We have chats a few times a week and that’s not just me, that’s all of the lads. He’s been brilliant with me for the last couple of months when things haven’t gone as well as I would like.” 

With the Euro 2020 play-off against Slovakia now just four weeks away, a return to goalscoring form for Maguire would be a timely boost for both club and country. 

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