Sean Maguire: City sharpened my instincts as a striker

As he prepares for the Championship kick-off on Saturday with Preston, Sean Maguire says that Cork City turned him into the striker he is today

The Kilkenny man made the best possible debut for his new club by scoring in a friendly against Burnley last week, his confidence evident in the way he resisted the opportunity to pass to the well-positioned Eoin Doyle before finding the back of the net himself.

“Before I joined Cork or even at the start of my Cork career, I would have 100% passed the ball,” he said. “But the form I’ve been in with Cork, I feel that I can beat anyone and get a shot away.

“Cork gave me that confidence and turned me into the player that I am today. I’m a different type of player to what I was before I came to Cork.

“People might not know that before Cork I didn’t really play as a number 9, I used to play more like a number 10 and out on the wings.

“But coming to Cork, John Caulfield sat me down and said, ‘I want you to play as a striker, a number 9’. So I suppose Cork City have transformed me into the striker I am today.”

Speaking on Newstalk’s ‘Off The Ball’, Maguire said that the replacement of the manager who’d signed him for Preston, Simon Grayson, with new boss Alex Neil added “a small bit” of pressure in his first weeks at the club.

“You want to impress the manager in every way possible,” he said.

“Going into every training session you’ve got to give 110%. Even in warm-ups, I know it’s sounds silly to say, but you want to look lively.

“But it’s been going really well the last week and a half. It couldn’t have gone any better. Coming on against Burnley, I thought I did very well and then my first start against Fleetwood, again I was very pleased with my overall game, even though I didn’t score.”

His ambition now, he emphasised, is to take up at Deepdale where he left off at Turner’s Cross, hopefully beginning this Saturday when Preston open the new campaign at home to Sheffield Wednesday.

“I feel that I will show the fans that what I did at Cork, I can do at Preston,” he said.

“I would be hoping to make my mark this Saturday and get the (competitive) debut that I’ve been dreaming of for the past couple of months.”

Meanwhile Preston boss Alex Neil has admitted that he will have to take care not to burn out Maguire and his former Cork City colleague Kevin O’Connor.

“I spoke with the lads about this when I first met them. Around Christmas time when their season generally used to end, we might need to take stock depending on how they are feeling and how many games they have played up to that point.”

With Maguire in line to start against Sheff Wednesday, Neil added: “He just looks like he is into the full swing of things.

“The pleasing thing for us is that we have got Sean right at the perfect time when he is as sharp as you are likely to be as a player because he is mid-season.”


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