Northern Ireland are two games away from reaching a major finals

By Paul Gilmour, Sky Sports News reporter
Last Updated: 30/06/20 2:38pm

Baraclough: “It would be wrong of me not to make the phone call” to Ollie Norwood

Northern Ireland manager Ian Baraclough will ask Sheffield United midfielder Ollie Norwood to reconsider his international retirement ahead of the Euro 2020 play-off against Bosnia-Herzegovina in October.
Norwood, who won 57 caps, announced he would end his international career at the age of 28 last year to concentrate on his club career with the Premier League side.”It would be wrong of me not to make the phone call,” Baraclough told Sky Sports News. “Ollie had a big impact while he was in the group. He made the decision and I wasn’t part of that conversation.””If he’s had a different feeling about it then he can only strengthen the group of players.” Steve Harper will continue in his role with Northern Ireland Baraclough confirmed Jimmy Nicholl and former Newcastle goalkeeper coach Steve Harper would remain on the coaching team along with Austin MacPhee in “a slightly different role”.Northern Ireland are two games away from reaching a major finals, something that is not lost on Baraclough.”It’s not something I fear. It’s got me excited and I think we can win two games of football if we’re prepared right and go into it with the right frame of mind.””We don’t fear going away to Bosnia. We’ve had the experience of playing them twice in the Nations League and feel we should have won those games.””We still think there won’t be any fans allowed into the ground in October and we’ve seen in the Premier League that can be a great leveller.””It’s an honour to be given the job. I like my teams to be organised. The way I set up the U21s was positive, to try to win games and be attacking. Players knowing their individual roles is important.” The Irish FA promoted Baraclough from his role with the U21s Like England and Republic of Ireland, the Irish Football Association promoted Baraclough from his previous role as U21 manager.He began taking more responsibility with the senior side in November when it was announced Michael O’Neill would combine the Northern Ireland job with Stoke City.”There isn’t a great change from the previous manager,” said Baraclough. “Ahead of the March game I’d been out to Bosnia to look at hotels and training facilities and relayed that back to Michael.””Michael has always said he’ll be there for us and to pick up the phone at any time. He’s certainly someone I will tap into for sure. I consider him a great mentor.” Back-to-back Super 6 winners? Do not miss your chance to land the £250,000 jackpot for a sixth time this season on Saturday. Play for free.



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