Ex-boss Lawrie Sanchez set for Northern Ireland job interview

Lawrie Sanchez
Lawrie Sanchez quit the Northern Ireland job in 2007 to take over at Fulham

Lawrie Sanchez is among the contenders to have been offered interviews for the vacant Northern Ireland job.

Former manager Sanchez is set to be interviewed for the role next week, along with the other candidates Jim Magilton, Michael O'Neill, Iain Dowie, Dave Jones and Gerry Armstrong.

Sanchez had a successful spell as Northern Ireland boss from 2004 to 2007 before leaving to take over at Fulham.

He is currently in charge of League Two side Barnet.

Sanchez took Northern Ireland from 124th in the world rankings to an all-time high of 27th during his reign but then quit the role in May 2007 just as his team appeared on the brink of qualification for Euro 2008.

Nigel Worthington was unable to guide the Northern Irish to the finals and Sanchez went on to criticise his successor's efforts on a number of occasions.

The ex-Wimbledon striker made a very public intervention against Worthington in September when he claimed that the "writing was on the wall" for the then Northern Ireland manager after the 4-1 Euro qualifier defeat by Estonia.

Those comments received widespread criticism and there were suggestions that they might hinder Sanchez's prospects of ever returning to the Northern Ireland role.

However, he remains popular with sections of the country's support and will be interviewed next week.

His main rivals for the job appear to be former Ipswich manager Magilton, who won 52 caps for Northern Ireland, Shamrock Rovers boss Michael O'Neill, a 33-cap veteran, and Iain Dowie, who has managed six English clubs after playing 59 times for the country.

Dave Jones, who has managerial experience with Stockport, Southampton, Wolves and Cardiff City, will also be interviewed, as will former assistant manager Gerry Armstrong.

On Thursday, Swansea City's Brendan Rodgers said he rejected an approach to take the job on a part-time basis.

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