Sunday 22 April 2018

'Frustration' the overriding feeling for striker Seanie Maguire

Ireland’s Sean Maguire puts his foot in to challenge Turkey ‘keeper Volkan Babacan (L) and Çaglar Söyüncü. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Ireland’s Sean Maguire puts his foot in to challenge Turkey ‘keeper Volkan Babacan (L) and Çaglar Söyüncü. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Sean Maguire had different plans for his first start as an Irish senior international.

Frustration was the word that the Preston striker kept returning to as he reflected on his evening at the Antalya Stadium, a contribution that lasted for just over an hour.

He actually felt that the final fifteen minutes went better than the entire first half. "When you get the ball you need to make things happen and I struggled to make stuff happen in the first half particularly," said the 23-year-old.

"It's frustrating, very much so. You look at the statistics and to not have a shot on target is very frustrating. In the second half, I grew into the game and started to get the ball on the half turn and get at players.

"I was personally frustrated with how I played. I could have played a lot better but it was a great experience for me - only my second cap and I am only back from four months out.

"I didn't get much of the ball to feet and in the times I did, I could have done better. It was a learning experience, I was playing with Scotty (Hogan) for the first time and it will take time to gel. We were up against a good team."

The best Irish chance fell to Hogan, the kind of opening that Maguire craved but he feels the partnership has potential. "We are similar players, me and Scott, the way we play.

"Our best attribute is going in behind, a fox in the box. If Scotty had scored the chance he had - and I'd have bet the house on him scoring - it would have been a different game but it wasn't meant to be.

"I didn't get much of a chance to notch up a goal for myself but it's great to get on the Ireland jersey, to get my second cap means a lot and shows how far I have come."

Shane Duffy had sympathy for the front pair, offering the view that they were a bit isolated at times because of the flow of play further back.

"I thought that the two lads in attack did well. They worked hard although I felt that we were a little bit too far away from them," said Duffy, who did get a personal boost when he was handed the captain's armband after Seamus Coleman was replaced.

"Seanie has been out for four months and Scotty has not been playing regular football. I felt that they were great for us off the ball. Scotty got his chance and maybe when he is playing regularly he will put them away.

"The manager is working on thing and trying to get us to score more goals. You don't want your centre halves getting the goals."

Captain Coleman felt that Ireland's formation should have given them a greater number of opportunities in the opposition half. Yet he says that poor use of the ball gave them problems when it came to imposing.

"That's where, over time, we need to get it right. The manager set us up in a way that we could attack. Unfortunately, it didn't happen, we got penned in," said the Donegal man.

"We needed to be a little bit more comfortable on the ball and show for the ball a bit more as individuals, and hopefully that will come.

"We sat in and we tried to break when we could. Obviously it's a new bunch of lads, we're all getting to know each other, but the system was quite good in a way."

Duffy said it was a new one for him, and he only began to get the hang of it as the minutes ticked by.

"I have not played it much and it took me a bit of time to get my body in good positions," said the 26-year-old.

"I thought that in the second half I grew into it, and felt quite comfortable then. It gives us another chance to put two strikers on the pitch and I think that's what the manager is trying to do. If you look at the two wing backs (James McClean and Coleman) they are the two most attacking wing backs there. It's just about time."

The impressive Declan Rice said that he enjoyed playing next to Duffy, as they both like to talk.

"Yeah, to be fair I've got that in me, a bit of a leader," he said. "With Duffy about, I think he's more (vocal) than me but it's part of what we do as centre halves and we have to marshal other players."

He was frustrated by the set-piece concession, stating that it was an area that had been discussed beforehand.

"That's frustrating because all week we've been banging on about the set pieces," said the teenager.

"To concede one tonight is not what he wanted and it puts a downer on the night."

Irish Independent

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