Northern Ireland

Lawrie Sanchez did not apply for Northern Ireland manager's job

Lawrie Sanchez
Image caption Lawrie Sanchez has said he is committed to his job at League Two side Barnet

Lawrie Sanchez has said he is fully committed to his contract with Barnet and has not applied for the role of Northern Ireland football manager.

It had been reported that Sanchez was one of the candidates to be interviewed for the vacant job with the Irish Football Association (IFA).

But in a statement on the Barnet website, he said he was "puzzled" at the reports.

He said the IFA had not made formal contact with him.

The statement from Sanchez said: "Further to the speculation that came to a head last Friday I wish it to be known to all Barnet FC supporters that I have not formally applied for the position as manager of the Northern Ireland international side and I was puzzled as to how my name seemed to appear on a 'shortlist'."

It added: "I want to assure Barnet supporters that I am fully committed to honouring my contact with the club, a contract that runs to the end of this season.

"I am enjoying managing this club and I believe we have a side that is capable of finishing in a more than respectable position in the league.

"Furthermore I must add that no formal contact has been made to me by the Irish Football Association."

It has been reported that Michael O'Neill, Jim Magilton, Iain Dowie, Dave Jones and Gerry Armstrong are expected to be interviewed by the IFA this week.

On Monday, it emerged that O'Neill is quitting his job as manager of Shamrock Rovers and Thursday's final Europa League clash with Tottenham will be his last game in charge.

Magilton has been working as his assistant at the League of Ireland side.

O'Neill, whose current contract runs out on 31 December, has guided Rovers to two League of Ireland titles since arriving at the club in 2009.

In September, Sanchez had said he would consider managing Northern Ireland again should the IFA decide to sack Nigel Worthington.

Worthington announced he was stepping down as Northern Ireland boss in October.

The former Norwich City manager was in charge for four and a half years but failed to secure qualification for any major finals during his reign.

Sanchez took Northern Ireland from 124th in the world rankings to an all-time high of 27th during his reign as manager but then quit the role to join Fulham in May 2007 just as his team appeared on the brink of qualification for Euro 2008.

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