Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Saturday May 12 2007
It came as something of a surprise yesterday when the news surfaced that Lawrie Sanchez had chucked in his role as manager of Northern Ireland.
Indeed, many saw Sanchez as the least likely candidate to get the Fulham post on a full time basis. Rumours abound that his methods upset a playing staff seemingly used to the laid back style of Chris Coleman. However, it would appear that the manner in which Sanchez went about the business of keeping Fulham in top flight football, impressed the board.
Therefore, in a way it makes sense to keep the momentum going and if the reports filtering through that Sanchez`s salary at Craven Cottage will be in the region of £700,000 per annum compared to the £125,000 he was getting for the Irish role, I doubt whether you`ll find anyone who`ll criticise him for resigning.
Thankfully, it`s not the money that has seen Sanchez take the job, it is the excitement of managing in the Premiership that drives him on. Upon taking the job on a full time basis, here`s what he had to say,
"I`ve mixed emotions. I`m very pleased but have a little twinge about the fantastic job I`ve left."
"It was a very difficult decision but the overriding thing was I wanted to manage at this level. Everyone in Northern Ireland knows that."
"If you are going to bow out then leaving at the top of your Euro qualifying group and with the highest ranking ever and new television deal worth £10 million could be worse."
"I had to make that decision. If I had to give up one then so be it."
"If anyone has seen the baseball film Bull Durham, a character in that talks about reaching - The show - Well, this is the show. I have had 32 days so far and I`ve loved it."
Welcome to Craven Cottage then Lawrie.
Date:Saturday May 12 2007
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