Northern Ireland football manager Ian Baraclough has suggested goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell may need to leave Burnley in January to be sure of retaining his place in the national team.
Although late goalscorers Josh Magennis and Gavin Whyte grabbed the headlines, Peacock-Farrell was arguably Northern Ireland’s man of the match in Saturday’s crucial 2-1 win over Kosovo, making vital saves to keep his side in the game.
He broke away skillfully to deny Vedat Muriqi his second goal of the night when Northern Ireland were 1-0 down and then got up strongly to prevent Zymer Bytyqi putting Kosovo back ahead after Whyte’s equaliser.
The 25-year-old has been Northern Ireland’s no.
Conor Hazard is on loan from Celtic to Finnish club HJK while Luke Southwood is on loan at Cheltenham from Reading. Peacock-Farrell spent last season at Sheffield Wednesday but is now back at Burnley, playing as a substitute for Aro Muric – the man who was in goal for Kosovo at Windsor Park.
“We talked about that,” Baraclough said after praising Peacock-Farrell’s performance.
“I spoke to Conor Hazard and Luke Southwood. Bailey was the only one not playing. He knows he’s going to have competition, so obviously he’s keeping in shape. If the next (international) window is March, he has six months to join the team or move on in January.”
Peacock-Farrell said on Northern Ireland’s matchday program he had received offers over the summer but was told by new Burnley manager Vincent Kompany he was wanted at Turf Moor.
“I haven’t played as many games as I would have liked so far, but I feel like I can build on the back of a really good season and I’m in a positive position,” he said.
“There were a few clubs here and there that were interested in loaning me out but after discussions with Burnley it was clear I would stay there this season.
“It was a bit up in the air with the manager change and stuff like that and with a lot of players coming in and out, they wanted me to stay and when they want that, that happens and I like to do that and fight for it my place.”
Saturday’s win ended Northern Ireland’s long winless streak in the Nations League as they clinched three points for the first time in 15 tries – although Cyprus’ surprise win over group leaders Greece later in the day meant the battle for relegation to League D continues.
The win eased the pressure that had been building on Baraclough, who is hoping the result can be a turning point.
“Every win means something, but a win in the Nations League, the first we’ve managed, makes me very happy,” he said. “It gives us a platform to build on. We know we’re not the finished product, but we’re still building and trying to attract young players…
“These players form a squad, a competitive squad and we need to continue to build on that.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/burnley-ian-baraclough-northern-ireland-kosovo-josh-magennis-b2174810.html Northern Ireland No.1 Bailey Peacock-Farrell has said he faces a decision over the Burnley role