Bailey Peacock-Farrell knows he will need to be patient as he seeks more first-team football with Burnley.
The 24-year-old remains back-up to England’s Nick Pope at Turf Moor, but showed his value to Northern Ireland on Wednesday night as an outstanding last-minute save from Dimitar Iliev prevented a disappointing goalless draw becoming even worse.
Peacock-Farrell may be established as Northern Ireland’s first choice but he has made only one Premier League appearance this season – in Burnley’s 5-0 defeat by Manchester City – while playing in four cup games.
Pope, who is pushing Jordan Pickford for England’s starting role, may be blocking his path at club level but Peacock-Farrell knows his team-mate had to wait for his own chance at Burnley at a time when Tom Heaton and Joe Hart were at the club.
“It can change so quickly,” Peacock-Farrell said. “Popey had to wait. The gaffer told him when he first came to the club and when I first signed we had a meeting and the gaffer said the same thing to me.
“Certainly as a goalkeeper you have to wait for the opportunity because it’s not a position which changes that often.
“You just have to wait and be patient, and Popey certainly did that and now it’s paid off for him.”
That opportunity could well come at Turf Moor as Pope continues to be linked with some of the Premier League’s top clubs, and Peacock-Farrell said he felt no need to consider his own future at this stage.
“No decision has to be made,” he said. “Football can be crazy and anything can happen at any minute.
“It’s just a case of doing what I can do and affecting what I can affect and see what happens.”
Opportunities at international level are all the more important to Peacock-Farrell given his limited minutes in club football, but he said he felt no extra pressure.
“I just do what needs to be done,” he said. “Not playing at club level isn’t great but I have an amazing keeper in front of me at the moment keeping me out.
“In terms of the pressure there’s no more than the pressure I put on myself to perform and at the moment without the game time it is certainly hard to come away for international football, the highest level you can play without having any so-called 90 minutes in the Premier League.
“That’s the difficulty I face but when it changes it will be fine.”
Peacock-Farrell faced some questions over his performance in last week’s 2-0 defeat to Italy, but answered them by saving the point against Bulgaria.
“It would take a lot more than that to knock me or affect me in any way,” he said of the criticism. “That sums up goalkeeping. You make a save like that (against Iliev) and let one in last week. It is how it is.”
Wednesday’s draw leaves Northern Ireland facing an uphill task to qualify from Group C as they must play catch-up against Italy and Switzerland.
“There are so many more games left to play,” Peacock-Farrell said. “Right now we are disappointed, a bit deflated. It was a must-win game, especially at home.
“We are just going to have to do something remarkable against one of the bigger teams – something that’s not expected and we will have to do that. We have left ourselves no choice.”