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Thursday 20 September 2018

Rollercoaster ride takes Sean to centre stage with Boys in Green

Fit-again: Sean Maguire
Fit-again: Sean Maguire

There's a difference between arrogance and self-belief.

Sean Maguire feels he has one, but not both, and while he has already proved himself in terms of scoring goals in the League of Ireland's top flight and the second tier in England, he feels it's that confidence running through his veins, spurred by a run of goals at club level, that is driving him on.

"It's not being arrogant or anything like that, it's just having self-belief," says Maguire, who has scored five goals in four games for Preston since his return to fitness after a four-month absence.

"Confidence is a massive thing in football. People deal with it better than others. I feel I'm a confident player.

"Five months ago I got that bad injury and people probably felt that confidence was going to wear off but I still feel confident.

"Even throughout my injury I knew that was going to come back sooner which I did. I feel I owe a lot to Cork City for that because I feel I'm a totally different player to what I was even this time last year.

"And to look even the year before when (John) Caulfield took a chance on me or whatever. A couple of years later I'm in the international set-up and in a team which is fighting for promotion to the Premier League. That's what we're going to be aiming to do." Now 24, Maguire has been through the wringer enough times in his career to know that lows can follow highs.

"I've had a bit of a roller coaster ride since, I suppose," Maguire said as he reflected on the career path which has taken him from the League of Ireland's second tier to his current status, likely to make his first start at international level in Turkey tomorrow.

"My West Ham days, being pretty much rejected there, I did quite well at Accrington and then back to Dundalk - everyone knows what happened at Dundalk.

Positive

"I think that I've had a lot more lows than highs but my career is on the up and I'm past serious injury. I know that I was only out for four months but nowadays it is a horrific injury. I've come out the positive side of it and it's all good now.

"I couldn't have imagined the start I've had since coming back from injury, scoring five goals in four games.

"I feel stronger in my legs, upper body, stuff like that. I think there is a bit of sharpness left to go but that will only come by training and games."

With Maguire, Daryl Horgan and Alan Browne in this squad, and club-mates Greg Cunningham in the frame there is a strong Irish presence at Preston North End FC.

But there could be another addition to the ranks, with Callum Robinson expressing an interest in playing for the Republic.

Would he be a good addition? "Massively, definitely, he can play number nine and anywhere across the front three. He's a really top player," says Maguire.

"I think Callum is very different to what we have here. Technically, he is one of the best players who I have played with. He can play on the left or the right and he's said that this is the first time in his career that he has played as a number nine.

"He's chipping in with a lot of goals and it's great for him to come out and say that he is able to play for Ireland.

"All he has to do is to keep his head down, keep working as hard as he is doing and hopefully the chance arises for him," added Maguire.

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