Work-rate is key to Maguire success

Chris Maguire prepared himself for another serious shift against Burnley tomorrow and told Pompey fans: I know exactly what you want from me.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 30th March 2012, 10:00 am
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 7:14 pm

The pacy forward, on loan from Derby, has already become a popular figure among the Fratton faithful since his arrival earlier this month.

His performances and two goals have caught the eye – including his well-taken opener in the midweek win over Hull.

But it’s his work-rate and commitment to the cause which have really stood out during his short time at the club, as he shows huge energy to continually chase down defenders and battle for the side.

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While that alone often gets the seal of approval from Pompey fans, Maguire insists he is simply putting himself back in the shoes of those who pay to watch him.

He explained: ‘Being a football fan myself before I became a professional, it is what you want to see from your players.

‘You want to see everybody fighting hard for the cause and working hard.

‘When I go out on the pitch, I want to show that I want it as much as everyone else does.

‘To be fair, it’s a big part of my game – chasing things down, blocking balls out of defence and that kind of thing.

‘Maybe some strikers might think it’s a bad part of the game, but you’ve got to do it.

‘I’m used to working hard and the defending starts from the front men.

‘Myself and Luke Varney worked hard all night against Hull but so did the rest of the team.

‘We know we’ve all got to do that if we want to stay in this league.’

The 23-year-old won a succession of tackles in the victory over Hull, importantly winning back possession for his side in attacking areas on several occasions as Pompey bossed the game.

But while he concedes his tackling can improve, Maguire believes he can gain opportunities with his endeavours.

He said: ‘I think you get your own luck with things at times if you chase defenders and put them under pressure.

‘You never know, the ball might break for you – so if you don’t do that you might not get that opportunity.

‘If the ball is there to be won, you have got to be ready to go there and put your foot through it, otherwise you will get yourself hurt.

‘I wouldn’t say I’m a great tackler but I will go into it with commitment and always try to win the ball.’

The former Aberdeen man has become the man of the moment for the Blues after his latest display.

However, Maguire warned against Pompey letting their standards drop as they did against Coventry last weekend following their morale-boosting victory against Birmingham.

He said: ‘There was a dip in the level of performance at Coventry from the win over Birmingham.

‘We took our foot of the gas and played to their pace and their level – we can’t do that again.

‘We need to keep showing everyone that we want to stay in this league.

‘We’re at home and we’ve got a great crowd behind us.

‘The games are coming thick and fast but, hopefully, we’ll be able to produce another big performance against Burnley.’