Tuesday 12 November 2019

Misfiring Maguire knows the score about ending his Ireland goal drought

NET HAPPY: Goal-less Ireland striker Seán Maguire tussles with Gibraltar’s Louie Annesley (l) and Joseph Chipolina. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
NET HAPPY: Goal-less Ireland striker Seán Maguire tussles with Gibraltar’s Louie Annesley (l) and Joseph Chipolina. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Sean Maguire is confident that the goals will start to flow once he finds his feet in the Ireland side.

The Preston striker won his fifth senior cap in Saturday's 1-0 win away to Gibraltar, but the Kilkenny lad was unable to trouble opposition keeper Kyle Goldwin.

With a dash of humour, Maguire joked that not only is he failing to get goals, he's not even getting chances.

The Republic head into tomorrow's qualifier at home to Georgia with a four-strong strike force (Maguire, David McGoldrick, Aiden O'Brien and James Collins) who have scored zero international goals in competitive games.

O'Brien's the only forward to find the net for Ireland.

"Hopefully tomorrow," says Maguire when asked when his first Ireland goal will land.

"I am the sort of player who won't let that get to me, I have five caps now.

''Saturday was my first competitive start, of course I'd have liked to score my first goal. It took me a while to get going at Preston before it started ticking for me, so I feel that once one goal comes it will all come together. Hopefully it will come tomorrow.

"I think I am waiting for my first chance as well as my first goal," he added with a smile.

"I was happy enough to get my first competitive start, with this being the gaffer's first game people want us to be playing well but the more important thing was to get the win and start the campaign with three points. So we move on and look forward to Tuesday.

"With my game, I just work hard and if I keep working hard the chances will come. It was unfortunate on Saturday night that a chance didn't come but I was happy enough to contribute to getting the three points.

''It was frustrating to not get the ball as much as I'd have liked but I will keep working hard making those runs, being unselfish, making runs for other players.

''Didzy [David McGoldrick] did really well to set up the goal for Jeff, making that near post run. He is an intelligent player, he can make other players look so good the way he drops off.

''We worked on it during the week, how to get the centre halves to drift in and pick up Didzy but they stayed in two banks of four which was tough for me personally," Maguire added.

"We just have to keep working hard. The gaffer has been on to us, saying we need to create more chances. People would have seen this game as a chance to get three or four goals but it's not like that nowadays.

''Teams sit back with two banks of four, especially in those conditions with the win and the pitch, which was horrendous. You didn't know if you were coming or going.

"I'd never played in a game with wind like that. The ground was so open and the wind was all over the shop.

''You didn't know whether to spin or come short. You didn't know where the ball would go.

"It certainly wasn't a great spectacle for neutrals. For the Irish fans, we can play miles better."

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