Football

'He's New To This Group Like I Am And He Doesn't Shy Away From It'

'He's New To This Group Like I Am And He Doesn't Shy Away From It'

Callum Robinson was one of the few shining lights for Ireland as they plodded to a 2-0 win against Gibraltar on Monday night.

The 24-year-old Preston forward played 73 minutes, winning his eighth cap, before being replaced by Robbie Brady.

Speaking after the game, Seani Maguire said his club and international teammate was "delighted" with his performance.

"Knowing Robbo the last couple of years, he's a bubbly character," said Maguire.

He's new to this group like I am and he doesn't shy away from it. You saw the quality out on the pitch tonight, he can make something out of nothing. Just give him a bit of time and he will shine on the international stage. We saw glimpses of it tonight where he turned defenders inside out and he was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet.

This year he started playing as a number nine and that's where he's got a lot of his goals. I like playing with Robbo because the two of us interchange; if it's Robbo out left-wing and me at number nine, we can keep swapping and that's what the gaffer likes back in Preston. Hopefully, he stays with us. I know he has a year left on his contract and it's a big year for him. It's a big year for me as well.

Robbo can be anything he wants. I've seen it in games and training and hopefully he keeps improving.

Maguire entered the match as a 66th minute replacement for Scott Hogan. The 25-year-old was disappointed not to have started the game.

When he did step onto the pitch, he received a physical welcome from one of the Danish defenders.

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"My back is still in bits from it! It just came out of nowhere," said Maguire.

"I was hoping to get a sniff [at goal] but it wasn't to be. When I came on, they went to five at the back which tightened things up. The only real joy was coming from crosses out on the wing; we couldn't really play through the middle of them.

"Gibraltar, those two games could have been banana skins, especially out there - it was a freak game. Again, tonight, they made it hard for us. They had some nice passages of play. Obviously, they've been working on it.

"From the outside, people will be saying that we should be beating them four or five nil but in the modern game, teams sit in and make life really difficult. You see it in the FA Cup - League One, League Two teams going to Premier League teams and making life difficult for them."

Picture credit: Sportsfile

See Also: Player Ratings As Uninspiring Ireland Labour to Victory Over Gibraltar

PJ Browne
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