Football

Seani Maguire Returns But Martin O'Neill Can't Throw Him Into 'Deep End'

Seani Maguire Returns But Martin O'Neill Can't Throw Him Into 'Deep End'

Seani Maguire saw his first action of the season for Preston North End at the weekend, coming off the bench to play 20 minutes and supply the cross for Callum Robinson's goal which wrapped up a 4-0 win against Wigan.

Maguire had been out of action for the past nine weeks due to a hamstring injury which he picked up in a pre-season friendly.

The 24-year-old's return is also a welcome boost for Martin O'Neill. The strikers cupboard was bare for last month's games against Wales and Poland.

Shane Long and Scott Hogan have also returned from injury to increase O'Neill's options. That will be especially helpful as Preston manager Alex Neill thinks Maguire should not be pushed too hard during the upcoming games against Denmark and Wales.

"The Ireland staff and Martin O’Neill have been first-class with us," Neill told the Lancashire Evening Post.

While Sean is with them, they are going to monitor him and look after him. He has done very limited stuff up to this point and had 20 minutes on Saturday.

It is really important for us, for them and for Sean that they don’t fling him in at the deep end and give him far too much.

He would definitely be at risk of breaking down if that was the case.

I’m more than confident they won’t do that and we can look after him when he comes back here.

I think him being away will aid and assist Sean in his process of coming back.

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Maguire's absence was felt by Neill during Preston's first 11 games of the season.

"He has been a big loss for us, the fourth goal showed that with the low centre of gravity he has.

"He can shift the ball out of his feet, he can create goals and score goals."

Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

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