After returning from an injury which has kept him sidelined since the end of January, Sean Maguire admits he’s itching to be back involved ahead of PNE’s midweek trip to his birthplace Luton.
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The Irish forward damaged his ankle ligaments in the 2-0 victory over West Brom earlier in the year and made his first appearance in the matchday squad since that point in Saturday’s goalless draw against Cardiff City.
Having spent the past month and a half in the treatment room, the 27-year-old is keen to show manager Ryan Lowe what he can do.
He told iFollow PNE: “Not that you kind of take it for granted coming in training day in, day out, but you miss it a lot and you don’t realise how much you miss it.
“You come in earlier than everyone else when you’re in injured and you’re going home a lot later than everyone else because you’re working extra hard to try get back on the pitch.
“I’ve come back a lot quicker than what the medical staff anticipated, maybe two weeks earlier than what they thought it was going to be, so that’s really pleasing.
“Just to be back involved against Cardiff at the weekend, I was itching obviously to get on, but I’ll be working extra hard whether it’s off the training pitch or on the training pitch to impress the manager to get back on the pitch and hopefully play some minutes.”
Seani’s spell away from playing has allowed him more time to take in the matches in a different way, sat in the stands similar to supporters.
He has noticed in that period the improvement which the team has made under Ryan Lowe, having now spent three months with the manager.
Seani added: “We’ve played a lot of games in February so it’s felt longer [out injured] than what it actually was because there was game after game.
“The fixtures all piled into one because of the fixtures we missed due to Covid around Christmas, so it’s been quite difficult.
“It’s been good looking at it from a different perspective as I’ve been in with the crowd, looking at it like a fan because you’re looking at how much of a difference the new manager’s made to the team.
“You can’t really see the big difference as a player when you’re playing week in, week out, but when you’re looking at it from a different perspective and injury wise, it looks as though the manager’s made a huge difference to the team and we’ve progressed a lot in the last couple of months and improved quite a lot.”
This weekend, the gaffer takes his team to Bedfordshire to take on Luton Town, and that’s an area which Seani is well familiar with.
The Hatters have enjoyed a strong season to this point, sitting just outside of the Play-Off places and they remain well in the picture for a top-six finish.
“It's actually quite remarkable,” said Seani. “I was watching their game against QPR yesterday and they were saying how much of a tough place Kenilworth Road is. It’s probably one of the toughest places to go in the Championship.
“For me being born in Luton, and a lot of my family live in Luton, I used to go to games when Luton were in the Conference, a long time ago now, but it’s great to see them pushing up towards the top end of the Championship table.
“It will be another tough game. The Championship’s full of games that are going to be tough week in, week out.
“In recent games against Luton at Kenilworth Road it hasn’t really served us well, so we’ll be hoping to go there to get the three points because we don’t have a game for the best part of two and a half weeks, so we’d like to go into the international break full of confidence.”
You can watch Seani's full interview on iFollow PNE above.