Peter Niblock <BAP65>

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Thanks Lawrie!323 weeks ago
 

I understand some of you will be disappointed and perhaps angry with my decision and I do understand that.

In my heart of hearts I believed I could combine the two jobs, but in my short time in charge with Fulham on a day to day basis I came to realise that it was perhaps naive of me to think it was possible. It has taken up every ounce of my energy and I wouldn?t want to short change anyone.

I know that some people will now say that our chances of qualifying for the 2008 European Championship is less likely but I don?t believe that to be true.

I believe the players ? and I spoke about this at my last press conference in Belfast after the Sweden game ? can take more ownership of the team. As manager all I could do was to show them the way to success, but ultimately it is the players who have achieved that success throughout their performances, with your magnificent support.

Those magical nights at Windsor, with the Kop Stand rocking, will stay with me forever. Your support is, and always has been, vital to the team?s success.

Under the next manager there is no reason why the players should not perform any differently, and I am sure their results will get them to the European Championships in Austria and Switzerland in June 2008 where they ? and you ? deserve to be. And no one will be happier than me, to see Northern Ireland there

None of this success would have been possible without the players who have worked so hard and it has been a privilege to work with lads who put so much passion and commitment into playing with pride for their country.

And you, the fans, voted the best fans in Europe, always there with your vocal support throughout every minute of every match, win or lose, giving and supporting 100%.

It was always my intention to leave at the end of the European Championships; and it was always my objective to manage in the Premiership. The opportunity has come but the timing, unfortunately, was not what I would have wished.

I do ask for your understanding. I know that I overstayed my welcome as manager of Wycombe and I never wanted that to be repeated. I understand that my leaving Northern Ireland is premature but I leave the team top of the group, with a FIFA ranking as high as it has ever been, a new SKY deal coming into play, and with that money the IFA will grow strong.

Although I am pleased to be a Premiership manager with Fulham it is with a sad heart that I leave Northern Ireland. I have wonderful memories of my time with you and felt it was of the greatest importance that I should address you personally in this way.


Onwards and Upwards

Lawrie
 posted by Peter Niblock 

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