Sean Maguire revealed his frustration after Preston North End lost 2-0 to Reading in their final game of 2019, but stressed his belief that there is still plenty to be optimistic about going into the second half of the campaign.
The Lilywhites lost out after John Swift and Lucas Joao struck in quick succession early in the first half, with Maguire and his team-mates efforts to pull one back proving in vain, despite the number of opportunities they created and their dominance of possession.
Speaking to iFollow PNE after the game, the Irishman admitted his disappointment to leave Deepdale empty-handed in the final match of the calendar year but added that their belief would not be affected heading into Wednesday’s home clash with Middlesbrough.
“[It was a] very frustrating game,” said North End’s No.24. “I thought from probably start to finish we dominated, it was just two times of maybe they’ve caught us on the counter and apart from the two goals, maybe the one that hit the post and the disallowed goal they had, we controlled the game.
“We got into the right areas, created a lot of chances but we just couldn’t put it in the back of the net. It’s just one of those games and one of those things, but it’s the Christmas period, there’s a game just around the corner now and another game at home on New Year’s Day. We’ll get back in tomorrow and hopefully put things right [on Wednesday].”
Despite finishing on the losing side, the 25-year-old said there were still positives for the Lilywhites to take from the game.
“There is positives to take from the game, we can’t be too disheartened,” he added. “We created a lot of chances, it’s just about the vital thing about football, which is putting the ball in the back of the net.
“I was probably partly to blame in that I had a couple of chances where I’ve snatched at it and it’s not like me, but we’ve just got to keep working hard, keep doing the right things, keep getting in the right areas, which everyone is doing.
“I thought the forward players had a couple of good half chances and we just have to get back on the training pitch and put things right.”
Maguire was one of a host of players denied by fine saves from Cabral and the striker was dumbfounded at times that the Reading ‘keeper held onto his clean sheet.
“I couldn’t believe it. I had a half chance with a header and another one in the first half where I’m snatching at things, which is not like me.
“Barky pulls it back to me and only thing is just getting a good connection and getting it on target, the centre half’s just got his head on it and you’re thinking, ‘The ball is never going to go in the back of the net’.
“There’s a lot to be optimistic about, I think we’re still seventh in the league and with the Christmas period, there’s another game just around the corner. We’ve just got to look forward to that one.
“You don’t want to keep feeling sorry for yourself. There’s a lot to be optimistic about and we just want to get back on the training pitch and put things right.”
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