Bailey Peacock-Farrell proves his worth for Northern Ireland again
Bailey Peacock-Farrell is certainly proving his worth to Northern Ireland during this World Cup qualifying campiagn.
Back in March the Sheffield Wednesday keeper produced a stunning 92nd minute save to keep out Dimitar Iliev’s header and earn his side a point against Bulgaria.
Hewas at it again on Thursday night in Vilnius a producing a superb save to deny Arvydas Novikovas from the spot at a key time in the game.
If the hosts had scored they would have levelled things up on the night, but instead it was Northern Ireland who went on to score twice more and pick up their first win of the campaign.
“I think the way it was going, it might have been a different game had that penalty gone in,” said the 24-year-old.
“They came back into the game quite nicely with that first goal, so to save it at that time was a good, important save and one I’m delighted with.
“It’s a bit of everything; belief, trying to sense the feeling out there on the pitch, the circumstances of the game, what foot he is all give indications of where he might go.
“It’s just trying to get all the information you can from the analysis but when you step onto the pitch, it’s you and your mind and you’ve got to make the right calculation.”
Peacock-Farrell has made a big impression since moving to Wednesday on loan and is clearly benefiting from playing regular football.
He is an experienced campaigned for his country now and that was needed with so many regulars missing in Lithuania.
The keeper was pleased to see the young players come into the set-up and take their opportunity like he did in the past.
“I think it shows the quality and depth we have in the squad now with the young lads coming through,” said Peacock-Farrell.
“We’ve obviously not got Jonny (Evans) and Stu (Dallas) and key players, but the way players are coming in and just slotting in and doing these performances is a great sign.”
Attention now switches to tomorrow’s friendly with Estonia.
But really one eye is on Wednesday night’s crucial qualifier with Switzerland in Belfast.
16,000 fans will be packed into Windsor Park as they bid to cheer their team on to another victory and Peacock-Farrell is looking forward to the occasion.
“There’s a good mood after tonight and we have a big game at home against Switzerland,” said the stopper.
“The stadium is going to be rocking and hopefully we have that positive energy and get a good performance.”