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Dublin: 14°C Tuesday 22 September 2020

Maguire remains hopeful after Keane watches him score in another man-of-the-match display

The Ireland assistant manager was at Deepdale yesterday.

SEAN MAGUIRE SAYS he’ll focus on continuing to perform at Championship level in his pursuit of a first Republic of Ireland senior cap.

Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane was in attendance yesterday at Deepdale as Maguire gave Preston North End the lead in a 1-1 draw with Barnsley.

It was the 23-year-old striker’s first Championship goal in his fifth league appearance for Preston, who he joined from Cork City at the end of July.

Maguire netted in his first outing for his new club — a friendly against Premier League side Burnley — and his overall performances have already seen him become a fan favourite among supporters of the Lancashire outfit, who are a point outside the play-off places at this early stage of the season.

Maguire also picked up the man-of-the-match award yesterday, just as he did in Preston’s previous Championship outing — a goalless draw away to Middlesbrough.

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Nevertheless, the Kilkenny native is still waiting for international recognition at senior level. The former Ireland U21 forward was named in a provisional squad for the recent World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and Serbia but didn’t make the cut when Martin O’Neill trimmed his panel.

“It was a massive honour for me to get into the provisional squad. It’s something that I’ve been dreaming of since I was four or five, when I started playing football,” Maguire told Preston North End’s official website after yesterday’s draw with Barnsley.

“I’ve just got to keep performing at this level, keep scoring the goals, and one day down the line I’ll look forward to hopefully putting on that Irish jersey.”

Source: pnefcofficial/YouTube

Before heading home the opener, Maguire did well to create a good chance for Jordan Hugill, but he was unable to hit the target.

Maguire almost scored a late winner but his half-volley brought a good save from Barnsley goalkeeper Adam Davies.

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Paul Dollery

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