Date:Wednesday July 11 2007
Lawrie Sanchez was appointed Northern Ireland boss in January, year two thousand and four.
Here he inherited a team that was in disarray, going nearly three years without a win and also having not scored a goal in one thousand, to hundred and ninety eight minutes which is the equivalent to fourteen and a half matches.
Yet he was unfazed by this task and immediately got to work, guiding the team away from their lowest ever Fifa ranking of one hundred and twenty fourth.
Sanchez quickly became a fans favourite and was quickly put down in Northern Ireland folklore after guiding the team to hugely famous and publicized victories over England and least of all Spain.
Despite this success, Sanchez stated that he did not intent to extend his contract beyond November two thousand and seven in December two thousand and six.
Sanchez who had always said that he wanted to return to manage a top flight club finally got his wish when he was appointed Fulham caretaker after Fulham legend Chris Coleman had been sacked.
Yet on taking this caretaker role, Sanchez along with Fulham Football Club and Northern Irish president Jim Boyce all collectively stated that Sanchez would still see out his Northern Ireland contract but Sanchez performed impressively, guiding Fulham to safety as well as installing a tough training regime and despite saying he would not take the Fulham job permanently, he resigned from his Northern Irish job on May eleventh, two thousand and seven then directly agreeing to take the Fulham job full-time.
This let a bitter taste in the mouth of some Northern Irish fans who were angry at Sanchez for leaving half way through one of their most successful qualification groups.
Yet upon becoming Fulham boss, he is still helping Northern Ireland.
His first two summer acquisitions were Steven Davis and Aaron Hughes, both were immense for Northern Ireland but were not getting first team football at then club Aston Villa.
By buying these two players Davis and Hughes will not be lacking match practice when called upon Northern Ireland instead of having made a couple of substitution appearances for their respective club then being thrown in at the deep end and having to play a full game with their country, of course this is not the reason Sanchez bought these two players, he bought them as he feels their quality will fully benefit Fulham and I trust him.
So even when Lawrie Sanchez isn't at the helm of Northern Ireland, he is still maintaining their push for qualification to the Euro two thousand and eight Championships, a Northern Ireland legend for ever.
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