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Sean Maguire was 'manhandled six or seven times' by Martin O'Neill's Forest

There was just one booking as Preston extended their unbeaten run in the Championship to seven games.

Sean Maguire in action against Jack Robinson at the weekend.
Sean Maguire in action against Jack Robinson at the weekend.
Image: EMPICS Sport

PRESTON MANAGER ALEX Neil believes Ireland’s Sean Maguire was subjected to rough treatment during his side’s Championship clash with Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

Neil claims the 24-year-old was “manhandled” by Martin O’Neill’s charges in the 0-0 draw at Deepdale, as Preston extend their unbeaten run in the Championship to seven games.

Maguire — who scored his first goal of the season against Norwich City last week — appeared to have some physical exchanges with Forest defender Yohan Benalouane, but Neil says that the Republic of Ireland attacker needed more protection from the officials.

“I never condone coaches or anyone really asking for bookings,” he told the Lancashire Evening Post.

“But sometimes it’s the only way to prevent really aggressive challenges on your players.

I thought Sean got manhandled probably six or seven times in the first half.

“The referee did speak to the player but sometimes just settling it down by giving a caution and saying, ‘Listen, that’s unacceptable’ can then allow it to be more of a football game.”

Despite complaints about the levels of physicality during the tie, referee Tim Robinson handed out just one booking to Preston substitute Jayden Stockley. Forest duo Alexander Milosevic and team captain Jack Colback were both issued warnings.

Forest’s Joe Lolley came closest to breaking the deadlock, but his goal was ruled out for a foul by Ryan Yates.

Maguire’s season has been badly affected by injuries and his fine effort against Norwich was his first goal for the Lilywhites since April 2018. 

The former Cork City striker pounced on the ball after it came back into play when fellow Ireland international Alan Browne’s impressive volley rattled against the woodwork.

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