UK news Steven Beacom: Ian Baraclough has passed his first test as Northern Ireland boss but the biggest ones are still to come last news
MetiNews.Com - Zoom meetings. We've all had to get used to them lately. Even so, it didn't seem right that Ian Baraclough had to speak to reporters remotely in his first press conference as Northern Ireland manager.
Breaking News ! "Zoom meetings. We've all had to get used to them lately. Even so, it didn't seem right that Ian Baraclough had to speak to reporters remotely in his first press conference as Northern Ireland manager. No bother to Bara though. The personal touch, that has been a key part of his success as Under-21 boss, may have been missing, but that didn't stop him delivering an impressive performance in front of hard to please hacks.Suited and booted for the occasion and wearing an Irish FA tie, he sat in the Windsor Park media room yesterday answering questions coming at him from laptops across the country with a confidence that suggests he is ready for and is relishing the biggest job of his life.Of course the English thing was going to come up, but the Leicester native, much like his hometown's most famous sporting son Gary Lineker did regularly many moons ago, finished with aplomb, using his time managing the Under-21s and Sligo Rovers across the border to his advantage."I've worked here for three years and south of the border with Sligo, so on the island of Ireland it's six going on seven years for me, and I love everything about the place. I love the people, I love the way they embrace you, I love the way they've certainly made me feel as though I'm one of them. I feel Northern Irish," he said, endearing himself to the Green and White Army from the off.There was also a clear reference that, while intent on continuing the outstanding work of predecessor Michael O'Neill, Baraclough intends doing things his way."I've never tried to imitate anybody. I've always taken little bits from managers and coaches that I've worked with down the years both as a player and a coach, and now as a manager," he stated."It would be wrong of me not to take elements of Michael's work and try to fit it around the way I do things - but it'll certainly be my personality, it'll be how I like to work."Baraclough added that everyone in his dressing room, right down to the youngest player in the squad, will have a voice, also pointing out that the experience and knowhow of skipper Steven Davis, Jonny Evans and Craig Cathcart is going to be crucial to him moving forward."You can breed success if everyone plays a part," he said.
. Norwood retired from the international scene last year at the age of 28. A return seems unlikely but that won't stop the former Scunthorpe United and Motherwell boss from making a call."As manager of this country it would be remiss of me not to put that call in. If I didn't ask, if I didn't pick up the phone, then I don't think I'd be doing my job properly," said Baraclough.All stuff that fans want to hear. There was praise for increased standards in the Irish League, respect shown to the men - Stephen Robinson, Tommy Wright, Jim Magilton and Kenny Shiels - he beat to the post and even talk about a potential blockbuster Euro 2021 play-off final against the Republic of Ireland at Windsor Park on November 12.For that to happen Northern Ireland must win in Bosnia in October and Stephen Kenny's side need to do the same in Slovakia. The two bosses have met before, including when Baraclough's Sligo side beat Dundalk in the 2014 Setanta Cup final. Smiling, Baraclough said: "It would be nice to meet up with him in November because that would mean we have beaten Bosnia. I'd love to repeat the 1-0 win I had over Stephen's Dundalk in a Cup final. I'll take that in November."So too every NI supporter. Baraclough zoomed past his first test. If his team produce the same strong display in Bosnia, a Windsor Park Euro 2021 play-off final awaits."
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Source = MetiNews.Com