Maghoma puts the Brewers first as he rules himself out of international duty
By colston crawford - email@example.com
JACQUES Maghoma has confirmed that his international ambitions are on hold until he can establish himself as a Football League player.
The 22-year-old Burton Albion midfielder travelled to earn his second cap for the Democratic Republic of the Congo recently, in Egypt, but has now asked his country not to consider him for the immediate future.
"It was a great experience playing against Egypt, who are three times African champions, but that's it now," said Maghoma, after making his first start of the season in Burton's 2-1 defeat at Cheltenham Town on Saturday.
"I've taken a step away to concentrate on getting my place in the Burton side and making my mark in the Football League.
"I feel that, if I can concentrate on Burton first, my international career can come after."
It was a day of mixed feelings for Maghoma at Cheltenham.
He played well after forcing his way back into the reckoning with an impressive week of training but saw the Brewers lose the game after looking comfortable.
They took a 37th-minute lead through Shaun Harrad but conceded two goals in two minutes late in the game to let the points slip through their fingers.
"I was delighted to get my first start but I'm so disappointed that we went home without the three points," said Maghoma.
"The whole team played superbly apart from two mistakes – which we've got to eradicate from our game.
"Cheltenham didn't cause us any problems whatsoever. We had it under control. We have to take positives out of that and move on."
Maghoma's attacking flair, as he worked his way up through the ranks as a Tottenham Hotspur youngster, was what interested manager Paul Peschisolido last summer.
Peschisolido beat other clubs to Maghoma's signature after he impressed in pre-season.
But – playing full-time football week-in, week-out for the first time – Maghoma struggled to nail down a regular place in the starting line-up last season.
There were glimpses of real quality, not least a fine solo goal which proved the winner in the home game against Port Vale in February.
But now Maghoma says he is trying hard to develop another side to his game and he emphasised the point by winning the ball in three keen early challenges at Cheltenham.
He was also prominent with several strong forward runs which turned defence into attack as the Brewers played a counter-attacking game at Whaddon Road.
"I was pleased with my own contribution and the older players helped and encouraged me," he said.
"It's something I'm getting into my game. I've learned that I've got to get stuck in. I'm working on doing more on the defensive side of my game as well as attacking.
"Getting that combination will help my game get better and better.
"Now I'll be going again in training and trying to impress the manager so I can get another start."