Will Lightning Strike Twice?
The fixture against Manchester City has given Lawrie Sanchez time to reflect on one of his greatest triumphs.
As a player, Lawrie scored the winner in the FA Cup Final against Liverpool and in his early management career engineered a fine win for Wycombe at Leicester.
However, at the moment, his greatest managerial achievement has to be the night when, as manager of Northern Ireland, he inflicted a mortal wound on England, beating the national side, managed by Sven Goran Eriksson.
Speaking at the pre-match press conference, I`m sure there was a glint in his eye when he recalled that monumental night, here`s what he had to say,
'It was two years ago when we perhaps created one of the biggest victories in Northern Ireland's history. It was a great night and four of the players who were involved that night are with me now."
'The relevance to tomorrow is probably very little but it is nice to have won your last meeting with a manager before you play him again."
'He was very gracious afterwards. He came across and shook my hand. Windsor Park isn't like Wembley for hospitality where you can invite the other manager in - it is a very stark place - but he was gracious enough to have said 'well done', which David Beckham did as well."
'Everything you do in your career goes some way towards where you end up. We had progress in the year or so before that game and we maintained it thereafter."
'When I left we had gone up 97 places in the FIFA rankings, which is a phenomenal achievement whichever way you look at it."
'We had taken a small country to its highest place ever, from 124th to 27th, when my results had finished. There were other results along the way as well as England, beating Sweden and beating Spain and drawing with Portugal."
'But the one against England perhaps made people in England sit up and take notice of myself and people like David Healy.'
Hopefully, lightning will strike twice and we`ll all be celebrating another famous victory over Sven.
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