Barnsley 2 Stoke City 4 as it happened! Michael O’Neill’s first game in charge from preview to verdicts via wonder goals and conga

How has your week been?

MON: It’s a difficult week!

Obviously you name your squad on a Wednesday and the preparations are in your head and then the opportunity comes to come to Stoke which, having met with the owners, it wasn’t a difficult decision really. It was the timing which was the awkward thing.

I’m very fortunate to get the opportunity at a great club with, as you saw today, fantastic support.

I believe we have a really good set of players for this level of football and we just have to guide the team up the league and into a level of comfort and then go from there.

There is no ideal timing in football so it was important for me to finish this campaign with Northern Ireland.

Players have given me everything for seven or eight years so I wasn’t prepared just to walk out and leave these two games. That was important.

It’s not going to be that disruptive because I think we have as many as 10 or 12 players away anyway so in terms of actual preparation for the game against Wigan, we can’t really do that without Joe Allen being available, without James McClean or various international players.

It’s not going not going to cause that much disruption.

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