Bailey Peacock-Farrell on 'character-building' few months at Leeds United after Northern Ireland heroics
Bailey Peacock-Farrell says it has been a "character-building" few months for him at Leeds United following the arrival of Kiko Casilla at Elland Road.
The 22-year-old was Marcelo Bielsa's number one goalkeeper during the first half of the campaign but has warmed the bench following the acquisition of former Real Madrid goalkeeper Casilla in January.
Peacock-Farrell, though, will have a chance to stake a claim for his place in the team once again when United take on Millwall in the Championship this Saturday.
Casilla was shown a red card late on in the 1-0 home defeat to Sheffield United at Elland Road for a foul on Blades striker Billy Sharp.
United's number two has now opened up on a "difficult" few months as he saw his first action since mid-January with Northern Ireland over the international break.
"It has been difficult and character-building," he told The Times.
“You have to try and take the positives out of it. It was an opportunity for me to work on a few things, get in the gym and build on things that way as well.
“No-one likes not playing because we are in this sport to play so it was a new experience for me to sit out and watch someone else play."
Asked about how he was developing under Bielsa and his coaching staff, he said: "I'm learning a lot. I'm learning new things every day.
"He pushes you to the limits and trains you under stressful conditions.
"All of it is preparing you right for the game on Saturday. I want to play whether I'm with Leeds or Northern Ireland. You can't beat playing.
“You can't get that feeling anywhere else other than stepping out and playing 90 minutes. That's what I love."
Peacock-Farrell made two crucial saves for Michael O'Neill's men as they secured consecutive victories over Estonia and Belarus to start their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign on a positive note.
The Whites stopper, though, played down his own performances as he readied himself for a return to Thorp Arch this week.
"Just doing my job," he told BBC Sport.
"I try and do it as best I can. Obviously I was there when I was needed to maintain the three points so I'm happy on that front.
"I'm happy that I can contribute to the team."
Head coach O'Neill was equally as pleased with his number one, saying afterwards: "It was a great save from Bailey. He made one against Estonia and now one tonight (against Belarus).
"Bailey does brilliantly to keep it out. It would have been a travesty to have conceded then."