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Ian Baraclough: It's an honour to be in Northern Ireland job mix with top names

 

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Ian Baraclough

Ian Baraclough

Ian Baraclough

Ian Baraclough has reinforced his desire to become the new Northern Ireland manager and declared that he is honoured to be mentioned in the same breath as Stephen Robinson and Tommy Wright in relation to succeeding Michael O'Neill.

Back in November when O'Neill was appointed Stoke City boss, Northern Ireland Under-21 coach Baraclough revealed in the Belfast Telegraph that if the opportunity to take charge of the senior team came his way he could not turn it down.

Now with O'Neill having left Northern Ireland to focus solely on Stoke, Baraclough is the bookies favourite, ahead of Motherwell boss Robinson and St Johnstone's Wright, to replace him.

Baraclough said: "It's a job that will be sought after by many good people. Robbo is being tipped for the job and quite rightly with the work he has done at Motherwell.

"Also Tommy Wright at St Johnstone. They have played Northern Irish football at senior level and just to be linked in the same breath as these people is an honour.

"I want to manage at the highest level possible and would be honoured if I was asked to do the job. When I first took the Under-21s I never imagined I would be linked to Michael's job.

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"I would hope he was going to stick around for quite a bit longer actually because I have enjoyed working with him and he's brought me into the senior set-up on certain occasions when we've not had games and I have enjoyed that work with the senior players.

"There is a lot of speculation going about via the press and media. I'm just trying to concentrate on my job through these tricky times and staying in touch with the Under-21 players and my Under-21 staff is key for me."

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