Alex Neil praises Cork City recruits after Preston goals

Preston North End manager Alex Neil has praised Sean Maguire and Alan Browne after the Irish duo scored in their 3-0 defeat of Championship leaders Cardiff City, writes Stephen Barry.

Maguire coolly slotted his second goal in four days after 70 minutes before Browne's 50-yard lob from the centre circle sealed the points.

The new PNE manager has understandably been delighted by his predecessor Simon Grayson's Cork City recruits.

“Sean’s really dynamic, technically very good and can shift the ball. I'd just like to see him get his head up a bit quicker at times because I think he can play better passes,” Neil told the Lancashire Evening Post.

“He’s really lively and he’s really flexible. He’s got a bit of freedom at the moment and tonight I let him just wander and find pockets and spaces where he could hurt them.

“I thought he did that for the majority of the game and he was excellent.

“Tom Barkhuizen, Sean and Jordan (Hugill) in particular are starting to knit together more because they’re playing more often together. I think we’re getting a better understanding of how I want us to work in the final third.

“I thought we got into great areas and Sean Maguire’s goal in particular was better in terms of incisiveness of passing which I think we can still improve on but we’ll get there.

“We’ve got so many good tools at our disposal, when they use them to their full extent then they’re a handful.”

Neil also praised 22-year-old Cork native Browne, who joined the club in 2014 and has already played more than 100 times for the Lilywhites.

“Alan Browne’s goal really topped it off. The one thing I keep saying to Alan is that in training he finished really well and when it gets to games he doesn’t seem to have his shooting boots on, but tonight when he came off I said to him ‘I told you, you can score’, so I am really pleased for him.

“The effort he puts in week in and week out, he really does a great job for us. He’s one of the unsung heroes that people underestimate but the amount of running he does for this team is incredible.”

Daryl Horgan was the only other Irish player to feature for PNE, coming on as an 88th-minute sub for Maguire.

Captain Greg Cunningham missed the game through injury, while Andy Boyle and Kevin O'Connor were not included in the match-day squad.

Out-on-loan striker Eoin Doyle was one of four Irishmen to score in Oldham's 3-2 win away to Bristol Rovers in League One.

You can watch the full highlights from PNE's 3-0 victory at Deepdale below:


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