Belfast Telegraph

NI keeper Bailey is ready to be No.1 for club and country

 

Bailey Peacock-Farrell
Bailey Peacock-Farrell

By Paul Ferguson in Tallinn

Frustrated Northern Ireland goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell fears he may have to reluctantly leave Sky Bet Championship giants Leeds United if he can't reclaim the No.1 spot at Elland Road.

The 22-year-old shotstopper is desperate to play regular football again after being sidelined in January by coach Marcelo Bielsa, who brought in Kiko Casilla from Real Madrid.

Peacock-Farrell started the season as Leeds' first choice goalkeeper and kept 10 clean sheets in 28 appearances for a Leeds outfit that finished third in the Championship.

But colourful manager Bielsa felt a change was needed between the posts as the Yorkshire club pushed for promotion to the Premier League.

The Darlington lad has one year left on his Leeds contract and hopes to open discussions soon on a new deal - provided he has a chance of winning back his place in Bielsa's team.

"If I'm staying at Leeds, I don't see that there's anywhere other to play that's better, unless it is the Premier League," stressed Peacock-Farrell, who is in Tallinn ahead of Northern Ireland's Euro 2020 qualifier against Estonia on Saturday night.

"When you look at the stature of Leeds, the level of club that it is, you can't get anywhere better to play.

"I wouldn't want to go anywhere else out of choice, to a certain extent. Obviously if I'm not going to play at Leeds then I'll have to consider my options.

"The aim is to be playing football, I have to, for selfish reasons.

"I'm not one of those goalkeepers who's maybe content with sitting on the bench and picking up a wage."

Peacock-Farrell, who made his international debut this time last year against Panama, is expected to be in the Northern Ireland goalkeeper at the A Le Coq Arena - earning his eighth Northern Ireland cap.

But after his experiences at Leeds he is certainly not taking his position in Michael O'Neill's team for granted.

"The more games I play I can only get better, and hopefully that will establish the position as mine," added Peacock Farrell.

"That's my aim, to secure that position and give no reason for it to be changed."

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