Belfast Telegraph

Bailey Peacock-Farrell set to be given Northern Ireland's No.1 shirt for double-header


By Steven Beacom

Leeds United goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell is the favourite to start between the sticks for Northern Ireland in the upcoming Nations League fixtures.

Peacock-Farrell was given the nod ahead of the more experienced Trevor Carson and Michael McGovern for Northern Ireland’s opening game in the tournament last month and while he was involved in a mix-up for the decisive goal in Bosnia & Herzegovina’s 2-1 victory at Windsor Park, Michael O’Neill clearly has confidence in the 21-year-old and plans to keeps faith in him.

The Northern Ireland boss has made the point that since the game in Belfast, Peacock-Farrell has returned to Leeds and played well for the Championship outfit.

On the day Watford defender Craig Cathcart took responsibility for Bosnia’s second goal but that didn’t stop Peacock-Farrell, making his home international debut, being annoyed about it

Three days later Motherwell’s Carson started the home friendly against Israel and Norwich City’s McGovern played in the second half, and both kept a clean sheet in a comfortable 3-0 victory.

Euro 2016 hero McGovern has featured for the Canaries in the League Cup this season but Tim Krul is ahead of him in the pecking order in the Championship while Carson remains the undisputed number one for Motherwell.

“When you put your goalkeeper in, you have to look at if they are playing, that’s a big part of it because a lot of goalkeeping is decision making,” said O’Neill ahead of the Nations League matches with Austria and Bosnia & Herzegovina.

“Michael’s game time is limited to the cup competitions. Trevor is playing at Motherwell and Bailey is playing at Leeds.

“Bailey and I talked about the second goal against Bosnia and personally I don’t think he could do a whole lot more with it but it probably wasn’t the start he wanted as a young goalkeeper.

“Since then he’s gone back to his club and started every game.

“I think we are in a good place with the goalkeepers. Obviously Michael’s situation is frustrating for him, but we also have younger goalkeepers like Conor Hazard and Conor Mitchell and they will push through in the next 12 to 18 months.”

Belfast Telegraph

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