15 August 2020 16:44
Ian Baraclough is the right man to take Northern Ireland forward, according to Michael O'Neill. Former Under-21 boss Baraclough has stepped into the senior role after O'Neill quit to focus on his Stoke City job. O'Neill is in Belfast this week with the Potters playing Linfield in a behind-closed-doors friendly this afternoon. "Ian was a sensible appointment," said O'Neill. "It was a difficult choice because there were a lot of good candidates and I'd worked with nearly all of them in some shape or form.
Any would have been a good appointment. "Ian had been in the Association, he had worked with the Under-21s and been up with the full squad, so he had a familiarity with a number of the staff and with a number of the players. "He probably had a head start, but he is a very good appointment. It is a very short campaign if you look at how the games have been condensed because of Covid. Having someone who has their feet under the table is an advantage.
I wish him well and think he has the capabilities to do a really good job." After a Nations League double-header against Norway and Romania in September, Baraclough's side are away to Bosnia-Herzegovina in a Euro 2020 play-off semi-final on October 8. The winner will host either the Republic of Ireland or Slovakia for a place in next summer's finals, and O'Neill, who led NI to Euro 2016 in France, believes the team can qualify again. "Bosnia away will be a tough game, but when you have the opportunity of a home final it is a massive incentive," O'Neill said. "The big thing for Ian is that he has all his key players available and in tip-top shape. They are not getting any younger but are still a massive influence." Belfast Telegraph The video will start in 8 Cancel Click to play Tap to play Never miss a thing from Belfast and beyond - sign up for FREE updates direct to your email inbox Subscribe Thank you for subscribing See our privacy notice Invalid Email Linfield take on Michael O'Neill's Stoke City this afternoon. The pre-season friendly will see former Northern Ireland boss O'Neill return to The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park. Today's game is being played behind closed doors but fans will be able to watch the action. Here's some info... When and where is the game taking place? Linfield vs Stoke City this afternoon, August 15 and is at The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park. What time is kick-off? The game starts at 2pm. Any fans allowed in? No, the game is being played behind closed doors. Can I watch it? Yes, the game s being streamed live on Linfield tv's YouTube channel HERE