Fulham caretaker manager Lawrie Sanchez has vowed to remain resilient amid growing pressure at Craven Cottage.
Since replacing the sacked Chris Coleman in West London, Northern Ireland boss Lawrie Sanchez has failed to replicate his success on the international stage domestically.
The gloom which hovered over the Premiership strugglers has been alleviated little by Sanchez’s arrival, but it is with optimism rather than apprehension that he looks to the future.
Confident that his primary aim of keeping Fulham in the top flight will still be realised, Sanchez is refusing to be downbeat and has issued a defiant rallying call in the direction of his players.
“It’s been a strange period for me over the last few weeks,” he said.
“I met up with Northern Ireland at the end of March, we won both games and went top of the group, I went skiing and then became manager of Fulham the day after I came back.
“People say it must be tough, but it’s a fantastic job. You’re working with the best support you can and Fulham’s a beautiful club. I’ve got to make sure we’re here next year.
“I’m relishing the job and hopefully come May 13 I will have done what I was asked to do. If so, it would have been a fantastic month.
“It can be stressful. A year after beating England with Northern Ireland I was asked in a press conference that if we lost to Spain, would my job be on the line?
“I thought at the time, `what more do I have to do to prove myself?’ But you have to feed off that stress. “The first person you pick up is yourself, and then the team. You have to be resilient.
“People say I haven’t managed in the Premiership before, but I stopped playing in 1994, so I’ve been this side of the fence for 13 years.
“I’ve been decision-making for the last 13 years and I’d like to think I’ve got more right than wrong. “