Sean Maguire felt there were positives to take from Preston North End’s 1-1 draw against fellow promotion hopefuls Nottingham Forest at Deepdale, while remaining optimistic that he and his team-mates can pick up the results they need before the end of the season.
Jayden Stockley converted well from Brad Potts’ drilled cross after a quarter of an hour, cancelling out Lewis Grabban’s penalty for the visitors ten minutes earlier, and despite forging out a number of chances thereafter North End had to settle for the point.
One of those chances fell for Maguire late on, opposition ‘keeper Brice Samba saving well, and while the Irishman felt his side were the likelier to take three points today, he said he and his team-mates would harness the positives for Wednesday evening’s visit to Brentford.
“I thought it was a positive performance again,” the 26-year-old told iFollow PNE. “It wasn’t a great start to the game giving away a penalty, but it just shows you the resilience from the boys and the battling that we have throughout the squad to come back and get back to 1-1.
“I thought there was only one team that was going to go on to win it, but unfortunately, we didn’t get the three points. There’s plenty to be positive about still and we’re still in the mix, and we have three games left.
“Going up against a side like Brentford – I know they’ve won every game [since lockdown] – but we beat them 2-0 on earlier on in the season and we’ve shown against the top teams in this league that we can go toe-to-toe.
“One [chance] fell for Pottsy in the second half and I think he’s hit it too well because the guy’s literally just got himself in the way - if he kind of mishits it, more often that not it just dribbles into the far corner.
“It’s just one of those things and we’ve came up against a good Nottingham Forest team and we’ve pretty much put them to the sword and they had nothing apart from the penalty, which is positive and we’ve got to take that into Wednesday.”
It’s three games without defeat now for Alex Neil’s side and although they might have hoped for more than the five points they have picked up in that time, Maguire said those outings have been enjoyable with the number of chances being created.
“We had a few chances to win the game; mine where the ‘keeper makes a good save, Barks’ one – another there that deflects into the bottom corner.
“The last couple of games have been really enjoyable, a lot of chances, and that’s something we’ve got to keep moving forward. I know against Brentford, they’re in good form, but there’s no better team to go up against Brentford like us at the moment.”
Still aware of the tough task that awaits at Griffin Park on Wednesday afternoon, Maguire has faith that with continued encouraging displays, the Lilywhites can pick up the results they need in the final three outings of the season.
“There’s no better way of making things right as the next game, but there’s a lot to be optimistic about and we’re still in the hunt. Everyone’s just got to stay positive and keep going forward.
“I think there’s a good four or five teams in the hunt for sixth place and I think it will go right down to the wire. Three games left, nine points to play for and I think there’s a lot more twists and turns. Keep playing like we did today – I know it’s not about the way you play these last few games, it’s about picking up points.
“That’s three games unbeaten, I know we’ve got five points from the last nine available and I suppose if we keep playing the way we are, I’ve no doubts that we’ll pick up positive results the next three games.”
Watch more from Seani on iFollow PNE.