Lawrie Sanchez has revealed how difficult he found it to quit as Northern Ireland boss to take charge at Fulham.
The former Wycombe boss had intended to stay with Northern Ireland until the end of the Euro 2008 qualifiers, when he initially took over as caretaker boss at Craven Cottage halfway through the qualification campaign.
However, Sanchez was forced to rethink his plans as he felt it was impossible to combine both jobs.
“I felt I could combine both jobs and I meant it. That was my initial reaction, ” Sanchez said in a new book ‘Lawrie Sanchez: The Northern Ireland Years’.
“We’d come so far with Northern Ireland. It was something I wanted to complete – six more games and we had a chance of getting there.
“But the Fulham job was too good an opportunity to turn down. The fact it was for a month gave them the chance to see if they liked me and if I could do the job.
“It became clear that it’s 24-7 being a Premier League manager, and combining it with 24-7 as an international manager would have been very difficult.
“The pressures on me would have been intense. When push came to shove I had to make a decision.
“I decided that the Premiership was where I always wanted to manage.”
Sanchez also disclosed that he considered quitting Northern Ireland following the famous victory over Spain 14 months ago.
The former Wimbledon star was unhappy with media criticism of him and he held talks about leaving before finally deciding to stay on.
“I spoke to (chief executive) Howard (Wells) and said ‘I have had enough’.
“I felt there was a lack of respect for me and the team. I threw my coat into the crowd – and my thoughts were ‘Well, that’s it, let someone else deal with it.”‘