Seani Maguire bagged the winner for Preston against Birmingham on Saturday, popping up with a last-gasp goal.

The striker’s late header gave North End and eighth win in the last 12, continuing the remarkable play-off push. Gradually, Maguire is getting back to his best once again.

Maguire’s injury problems have been well documented. He appears to have hamstring injury after hamstring injury, with two already this term; one in August and another in November.

The 24-year-old is managed meticulously by the North End fitness staff, but often comes back from international duty with an issue. Preston often felt that Maguire’s issues weren’t managed quite as well by Martin O’Neill and co, leading to those issues.

Preston fans would have been forgiven for worrying then, as Maguire is in the Ireland squad this week. Games against Gibraltar and Georgia face Maguire and Ireland this week, with the North End star in contention.

At such a key point in the season, Preston don’t want to see Maguire return with yet another injury. Fortunately, Mick McCarthy appears to be taking all the right precautions.

McCarthy has today revealed that Maguire doesn’t train on Mondays with Preston, so he’s following that plan by allowing him to sit out training today. Maguire should take part later in the week, ahead of Saturday’s trip to Gibraltar.

That will be a major relief for Preston and Alex Neil, who will still hope that Maguire can fire North End into the playoffs this season.

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