Sheffield Wednesday: Maguire targets starting place

Chris Maguire with Spirites Hamza Bencherif

Chris Maguire with Spirites Hamza Bencherif

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Chris Maguire begins the final countdown to the new season hoping that he can force his way into the Wednesday team after finishing his summer with a flourish.

His impressive last-minute goal in the 1-1 draw at Chesterfield on Saturday was another reminder of the striker’s capability.

He scored with a stunning volley in injury time to snatch a 2-1 victory at Millwall in April.

But he has yet to be awarded a run in the side and could even be one of the players that Dave Jones is thinking of offloading.

“It’s always good to get on the scoresheet, no matter if it’s a friendly,” said the Scotsman, who also netted a penalty in the 3-0 win at Stockport this month.

“It (Saturday’s goal) came at a good time: the season starts next Saturday and it gives you a bit confidence.”

He played on the right side of midfield at Chesterfield but struck his 25-yard goal from a central position.

“I like to get into that sort of area. In this game I was a bit wide. I saw the gap in the middle and took it up. Thankfully I got the pass and when I made that half a yard (of space), I knew what I was doing. It’s good that I can play in a couple of positions. It gives me a chance of getting a game more often. But we’ll see what happens.

“In the last couple of months of the season I came on and started to get more of a chance. I started to get back in and was enjoying it again.

“Hopefully the manager has seen that I’ve done well and I can kick on from this.”

Dave Jones hopes that he can bring in more players before the season starts and that injured players, for example Lewis Buxton (shin splints), Reda Johnson (ankle) and Jacques Maghoma (ankle) will be fit.

Trialist centre half Kamil Zayatte was an unused sub on Saturday but remains a prime target.