Sean Maguire admits he is sick of hamstring injuries and wants to make them a thing of the past.
The 24-year-old frontman, who signed from Cork City in 2017, scored 10 goals in the 23 games last season despite being out from November to March with a serious hamstring injury.
He was fit and raring to go for the new campaign describing himself as ‘the sharpest he had felt’ until, in pre-season, he was struck down with a different hamstring injury which sidelined him for two months.
The former West Ham United trainee got himself back fit and came back in October, but then, on international duty with the Republic of Ireland in November, he suffered another hamstring blow.
“I was away with Ireland and, to be fair, I wasn’t fully fit. I had played a couple of 90 minutes with PNE and felt I was around three or four games away from being back to my best,” said Sean.
“In the Bristol City game, where we won 1-0, I thought I showed glimpses in that game that I was getting back to my best.
“I had a good 85 minutes in that game and then I went away to Ireland. I didn’t start the game against Northern Ireland, I came on around the 65th minute, and I think it was my first run and that’s when I had a little tussle with their left back and it was an impact hamstring injury.
“I felt a pop. I tried to pretend to myself nothing had happened but I realised I needed to come off as something wasn’t right.
“At the time, I thought it was going to be really bad, it didn’t feel great, but it was better news in that it was a grade two tear and that was six weeks out which was better than I first feared.
“You have to take the positives and every hamstring injury I have had have been different. There has been no recurring injury which is a good thing but it is just annoying that I keep getting hamstring injuries.
“In the last year, I have had four and before that I had never been injured, I never missed a game for Cork City, West Ham and when I was on loan at Accrington Stanley.
“I only missed games when I was dropped. It’s since I came to PNE and I don’t know what it is, I need to get out of this routine of getting injured all the time.
“2018 hasn’t been a great year for me in football terms and I suppose you can only look forward to the new year and new beginnings.
“It’s annoying and frustrating as, when I have been fit and have been in the team, I feel I have been doing really well and made a big impact.
“When I am injured, and the boys are losing games, you sit there knowing you could make a difference but hopefully I will stay fit. I know I keep saying it every time I come back but I just have to stay positive and the one thing about me is that, when I am back, I don’t really have it in the back of my head.
“If you do have it in the back of your head you won’t come back as the same player. You have got to remain positive and confident.”
There is loads more from Sean in Sunday’s edition of the matchday programme, plus interviews and features with many more, including former PNE and Rovers central defender Russ Wilcox.
The 32-page edition of the official matchday programme is just £2 and is on sale from Friday afternoon from the club’s Sir Tom Finney Stand ticket office and from the sellers inside and outside the ground on matchday, so make sure you pick up your copy.