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Friday 21 September 2018

Maguire ready for last-day promotion drama

Seán Maguire of Peston North End. Photo: PA
Seán Maguire of Peston North End. Photo: PA

Seán Maguire insists that Preston are relishing their status as outsiders ahead of the final day of the promotion race in the Championship.

With one series of fixtures left on Sunday, Preston need to beat Burton Albion, but also hope that Derby lose at home to Barnsley, if they are to make it into the top six and earn that last place in the play-offs.

"If you came to us at the start of the season and said we would be in this situation where we are in seventh place, two points off the play-offs and if we win the last game there is a possibility of us making the play-offs, we would have grabbed it with both hands," said Maguire.

"I feel like all of the pressure is on Derby, they are a team that with the budget they have they should be in the top six.

"We've been there or thereabouts all season, lingering in and around the top six and we are there at this stage in the season when nobody has really talked about us until this point.

"I still don't feel that many people fancy us creeping in to the top six and it's a credit to the manager (Alex Neil) and us players.

"Obviously the teams that are behind us, the likes of Sheffield United, Bristol City, there was always talk about them all season and how well they've done and I don't think we got the credit that we deserved on how well we've done this season.

"I keep thinking about it, we can still do it. Barnsley need to win because they are in the bottom three.

"Burton need to win. They are not going to sit back and come to Deepdale and hope to pick up a point, they are going to have to go for it.

"It's a brilliant opportunity for us, we need to just win on Sunday and not concentrate on results elsewhere but the most important thing is to try and get three points against a Burton Albion team that have been fighting at the moment."

Meanwhile, Dubliner Joe Dunne has spoken of his delight at being back in management after taking the job at League Two side Cambridge United on a permanent basis.Dunne (44) has been caretaker at Cambridge since February but now the club, who have a strong Irish presence with David Forde, Jake Carroll, Gary Deegan and Barry Corr on the books, have given him a three-year contract.

"I have never enjoyed coaching a group as much as I have this one during the last two months," said Dunne, previously in charge of Colchester United.

"I now look forward to continuing to work alongside our talented team," he added.

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