Northern Ireland boss has this clear message on Carl Winchester's international prospects

Northern Ireland boss Ian Baraclough has opened the door to a potential international recall for Carl Winchester.

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 12:40 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 12:40 pm

Though Winchester missed out on selection for next month’s World Cup qualifying doubler-header against Switzerland and Bulgaria, the 28-year-old has been included on the standby list.

Tom Flanagan and Corry Evans have both been called into the full squad.

Winchester has one cap for his country, but has excelled in an unfamiliar right-back role for Sunderland this season.

Sign up to our Sunderland AFC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Carl Winchester celebrates his latest Sunderland goal

His growing reputation amongst the Sunderland supporters was strengthened again on Saturday as he scored his third goal of the campaign, one which proved to be the winner against an impressive Bolton Wanderers style.

Baraclough confirmed that he has scouted Winchester in person this season.

"He’s on the standby list,” Baraclough said.

“He’s someone I’m fully aware of having worked with him at Oldham. He was a midfielder then. I think Sunderland have bought him as a midfielder but at the moment they’ve obviously got a problem at right-back.

"I went to watch him the other week against Fleetwood and I thought he had a really solid game.

"He scored last weekend as well so he’s dealing with that situation really, really well.

"He might have thought at some stage that international football had passed him by a little but but it’s certainly not the case.

"People playing well for their clubs, it will get noticed now. We’ve got more and more people on the ground watching games as well as myself and the first team staff so Carl has done himself no harm whatsoever with a strong start to the season with Sunderland.”

Lee Johnson spoke earlier this season of his surprise that Winchester has not won more caps for his country, and after the win over Bolton Wanderers praised his first Sunderland signing for showing his class.

“He’s a class player and a class finisher,” he said.

“Everything about what he does and the way he plays, like I said, he’s a proper technician. Whether that’s a finish or a pass, he’s got that.

“What’s been nice to see is his defending. Even in a couple of interceptions he’s made where they’ve made out to in runs and through balls that were good balls but very close. It showed you he was switched on defensively as well.”

A message from the Football Clubs Editor

Our aim is to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative Sunderland AFC coverage 365 days a year.

This depth of coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to, please consider taking out a subscription to our new sports-only package here.

Your support is much appreciated. Richard Mennear, Football Clubs Editor