Preston striker Seani Maguire gave an honest assessment of his international career so far ahead of Irish training at FAI HQ on Wednesday morning.
One of Ireland’s most promising attacking options, Maguire has been wrought with injury ever since bursting onto the international scene following his move from Cork City to Preston in 2017.
Maguire has only started once for Ireland, making three further appearances from the bench, but injury issues have robbed him of the chance to really stake a claim to be the first choice striker with the Boys in Green.
Back fit and scoring goals at club level, Maguire finds himself with a fantastic opportunity to open his international account against Gibraltar and Georgia over the next week, in the absence of Shane Long.
“Yeah, it’s a great opportunity for the strikers in the squad,” outlined Maguire.
“There are not many caps between the four of us. I think Aiden [O’Brien] who has come now is the only striker who has scored a goal so if the opportunity arises I will relish it.
“It’s a great couple of games to come into but by no means should we underestimate Gibraltar. They won their first game last year so we’ll be fully focused on starting the campaign with three points.”
McCarthy has outlined that he is a fan of the Preston striker who impressed him recently in their 3-1 win over Millwall in the Championship with Maguire scoring in the victory.
Between injuries and a lack of form, Maguire is well aware that he hasn’t quite lived up to expectations in the green of Ireland. The 24-year old, however, is confident that should the opportunity arise in the upcoming qualifiers, he will be able to take it.
“I think when I’m playing and I’m fully fit my record speaks for itself but I think what’s happened so far in an Irish jersey I haven’t done myself any justice.
“I ve only had one start and obviously a couple of cameos. This time last year against Turkey I didn’t play particularly good and didn’t play to the standards I set myself.
“Given the opportunity, I think I can bring goals and these are the type of games that maybe you’ll get more chances to put the ball in the back of the net. I’ll relish that opportunity.”
Maguire also praised the influence of new assistant manager Robbie Keane on his game in the short period of time he has worked with the former Irish striker.
“It’s a mental feeling. It was my first time meeting Robbie coming in on Sunday. Even chatting to him he has an aura about him. You want to learn from him straight away even in just a few days.
“He’s been giving me tips here and there. It’s great to be involved with a player of his stature and I’ve no doubt, working with Robbie over the ten days or so that I’ll go from strength to strength and hopefully grow as a player.
“Robbie is a player we all look up to and want to emulate. I think his goals speak for themselves. Hopefully these next couple of games I can kick on with my international career.”