Northern Ireland boss Ian Baraclough wants to give fans 'a night to remember' against Switzerland after friendly win

Ferguson hopes fans can spur on NI against Switzerland

Ian Baraclough wants to give Northern Ireland supporters "a night to remember" by winning Wednesday's World Cup qualifier at home to Switzerland.

The NI boss was speaking after his side beat Estonia 1-0 in a friendly in Tallinn on Sunday.

Shane Ferguson's wonder goal lit up what was an otherwise low-key affair.

"Turn up in numbers, turn up with a big voice and hopefully we can give you a night to remember," Baraclough said in a message to NI supporters.

There will be 16,000 Northern Ireland fans in Windsor Park for the visit of the Swiss, who drew 0-0 at home to Italy in their Group C qualifier on Sunday.

Baraclough's side go into the game on the back of two consecutive victories, having beaten Lithuania 4-1 in a qualifier on Thursday.

"Winning games makes you feel a lot better as a group, of course it does, it gives you confidence and you almost feel like you are going out there on a bit of a roll," the Northern Ireland manager continued.

"We asked coming into this game to put another win on the board to take it into Wednesday. Our objective at the start of the week was to put three wins on the board from this window and put ourselves in contention - now we have a chance of doing that."

Ian Baraclough
Baraclough has won consecutive games for the first time as NI manager

Ferguson's goal arrived in the 76th minute and was an unstoppable 30-yard strike with his left foot, lashed into the top corner of the net.

The Rotherham United winger had earlier assumed the captain's armband from Niall McGinn after coming off the bench for his 50th cap, and Baraclough was full of praise for the 30-year-old.

"Fergie on his 50th appearance, couldn't have timed it any better could he?" he said.

"He has just come back from a slight injury, he couldn't take part in the first game and was touch and go for this one but he assured me he was right and wanted to play some part.

"What a strike, I was stood right behind it and it was always going into the top corner. He has got those capabilities. I love him, the way he goes about his work,. He deserved that."

Baraclough made no less than nine changes for the Estonia friendly, with only Paddy McNair and Jamal Lewis retained from Thursday's line-up.

Morecambe midfielder Alfie McCalmont was making his first senior Northern Ireland start and Baraclough was impressed with what he saw.

"He is a little terrier, he loves breaking the play up and looks to keep it simple.

"When he does the simple things he makes the game look very easy. He did very well and he will gain on that experience, I thought he was good in that area. It was a team that was made up of players that haven't played together, and it was good for everyone."

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