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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 January, 2004, 14:19 GMT
Armstrong glad to be back
Gerry Armstrong was former assistant to Bryan Hamilton
Gerry Armstrong is delighted to involved with new Northern Ireland boss Lawrie Sanchez.

Armstrong, who dropped out of the running to fill the void left by Sammy McIlroy's departure, returns to the job he held back in the 1990s.

The former Northern Ireland striker was also assistant during Bryan Hamilton's managerial reign.

He said that it was the opportune moment for him to return as number two to Sanchez.

"It's an opportunity that I couldn't turn down," said Armstrong, who was contacted by Sanchez last weekend.

Armstrong acknowledged that he had expected the appointment of Jimmy Nicholl but he insisted Sanchez could overcome initial misgivings expressed by some fans after Wednesday's surprise announcement.

"If we get results, score goals and perform well, I don't think the fans will ever be a problem," said Armstrong.

"He's going to feel initial pressure but if we score a goal and win a game, the fans will be won over."

Armstrong believes Sanchez will stamp his own authority on the job. "Fresh faces coming in, a fresh start, it can only get better," said Armstrong.

I think now it's a very hard job, but it's a very good job
Former NI boss
Bryan Hamilton

"I've got a lot of knowledge on the European football scene. I know a lot of the teams, a lot of the players.

"I'm excited for Lawrie, I'm pleased for him."

Hamilton, however, admitted he was surprised Sanchez had got the nod ahead of big favourite Nicholl.

"I was actually quite surprised because I felt Jimmy Nicholl was the favourite to get the job," said Hamilton.

"It is a hard job and when I took over it was after Billy Bingham who had done a marvellous job. I think now it's a very hard job, but it's a very good job.

"I'm pleased Gerry Armstrong has been appointed assistant. I'm delighted he's back, I wish him well."

Hamilton believes the first task ahead of Sanchez and Armstrong is to assess the strength of the Northern Ireland squad.

"When you take on a new role you've got to find out about the players," said Hamilton.

"He will want to get to know the players, once he gets the players together he will tell them his plans, what he expects from them and what he can do for them."






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Gerry Armstrong
"He's an ambitious person"



SEE ALSO
Sanchez is shock choice
21 Jan 04  |  Northern Ireland
Sanchez full of surprises
21 Jan 04  |  Northern Ireland



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