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Former boss Ian Baraclough believes the longer term appears vibrant …

Former Northern Ireland boss Ian Baraclough believes the country is on track to qualify for a significant event once more within the close to long term as he broke his silence following his dismissal final month.

Baraclough, 51, was once sacked on October 21 having gained best six of his 28 video games in fee within 90 mins, additionally beating Bosnia & Herzegovina on consequences, with the Irish Soccer Affiliation deciding to make a metamorphosis earlier than the beginning of Euro 2024 qualifying subsequent 12 months as fan discontent grew.

In a observation launched by way of the League Managers Association, Baraclough stated the chance to step up from his earlier function with Northern Eire’s Underneath-21s and exchange Michael O’Neill accountable for the senior squad was once “one of the most largest moments of my skilled occupation up to now”.

“My time on the helm was once no longer with out demanding situations; the Covid-19 pandemic, accidents to key gamers, and a squad in transition have been all elements we needed to settle for and paintings with,” he stated.

“I do suppose now that the squad are in a position to take your next step in this adventure and qualify for any other primary event.”

Baraclough took fee of Northern Eire’s U21s in Might 2017 earlier than changing O’Neill in June 2020, with a temporary to assist a number of of the ones more youthful gamers apply him in making the step up.

Effects have been disappointing as Northern Eire neglected out on qualification for each Euro 2020 and this month’s Global Cup, narrowly fending off a 2nd consecutive relegation within the International locations League, however Baraclough helped the likes of Dan Ballard, Ali McCann and Conor Bradley transform established.

“A different point out will have to move to the crowd of gamers I’ve labored with during the last 5 and a part years,” he stated.

“The enjoy of running with the younger ability of Northern Eire, via to the elite senior gamers has been an actual pleasure and certain for me.

“I can take nice satisfaction in staring at those younger gamers turn out to be established internationals and having an excellent have an effect on for Northern Eire in long term Global Cups and Euros.”

Baraclough stated the Euro 2020 qualifying play-off semi-final win over Bosnia and Herzegovina on consequences and the goalless draw towards Italy at Windsor Park final November have been some of the stand-out moments of his tenure.

I do suppose now that the squad are in a position to take your next step in this adventure and qualify for any other primary event

Ian Baraclough

“I want to thank the supporters who, after the difficulties of Covid-19, adopted us in nice numbers round Europe, and endured to make Windsor Park a troublesome position for different international locations to discuss with,” he stated.

“I’ve made many pals and feature loved the well-known heat and hospitality of the folks of Northern Eire. The rustic will dangle a distinct position in my center and I can all the time glance out for his or her effects and can be a GAWA supporter for existence.”

The IFA is but to nominate a successor to Baraclough. O’Neill, who left the function to take fee of Stoke, is noticed as a main contender for the activity after the 53-year-old left the Potters in August.

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