The cover star for this weekend’s clash with Bristol City at Deepdale is Irish international striker Sean Maguire.
Speaking to The One And Only, Sean is hoping it’s the end of his freak injuries so he can continue his rich scoring form.
The striker has suffered concussion and an eye injury already this season forcing him to miss three games – the latter especially being a one-in-a-million freak incident.
But two goals in the last two matches has won praise from boss Alex Neil calling the 25-year-old a ‘special player’ and he wants to show he is by leading PNE into the Premier League.
First, after suffering serious hamstring injuries in his previous two seasons at the club, Sean suffered concussion against Swansea, after winning a penalty in the 3-2 defeat, which forced him to sit out PNE’s Stoke City victory at Deepdale.
“The guy fouled me for the penalty and I felt a bit dizzy after the game so I had to sit out the next game,” said Sean.
“It is part and parcel of football. I don’t mind getting battered and bruised up front if the outcome is helping my team-mates and helping my team win games and score goals.
“I am quite small five foot eight or nine and I am going to have six foot centre halves going straight through me. I guess I get used to it!”
Then came his freak training ground injury where a ball hit his eye, forcing his blood pressure to rise dangerously in that one eye.
He went straight to hospital and couldn’t see properly for a few days which he admitted was ‘scary.’
“It was freak, one-in-a-million. Every day in training you get hit into the head with the ball, but this time the ball just ricocheted and hit me in the eyeball and it one of those things.
“My blood pressure raised four times more in one eye than the other eye, but thankfully I am through that and back playing.
“It was scary, for the first four or five days I was literally bedbound. The specialist said I had to have my head raised and watch tv preferably in a darkened room, with no lights.
“I admit, I got through some box sets. I think I have watched Peaky Blinders five times over!
“I wouldn’t put the concussion or eye injury in the category of being injury-prone because you can’t do anything about that. It’s just unlucky and hopefully my luck will now change.”
Thankfully he has returned with two goals in two games and his eye for goal hasn’t been hampered.
The former West Ham trainee is determined to make his mark as, after signing from Cork in 2017, he knows that he hasn’t been able to show the PNE fans what he can do over a season – and what a difference he can make.
PNE currently sit proudly in third place in the Championship table, with a 100 per cent record in the league at Deepdale and could go top with a win today, if other results go their way.
“It’s been an amazing start and it could have been better,” continued Sean.
“You look at games like Millwall, Swansea and Nottingham Forest especially where we felt we should have won. Swansea we should have at least got a draw and there are games already this season where our point tally could be even better.
“I have had two goals in the last two games and three in six so I feel I have started strongly.
“I have also contributed to assists and making penalties so the season has gone very well for myself, freak injuries aside!
“I have met my tally from last season scoring three goals but last season wasn’t the best season for me, but that’s done and dusted now.”
There is loads more from the No.24 in Saturday’s 84-page edition of the matchday programme, which also features interviews with Andrew Hughes, Callum Robinson, Ryan Kidd and Mark Lawrenson.
Make sure you pick up yours from Friday afternoon from the ticket office, or on matchday inside and outside the ground from our sellers, still just £3.