Damien Johnson has been appointed as a coach within the new Northern Ireland coaching set-up – but his position at Rovers will be unaffected by the news.

Johnson, who won 56 caps for Northern Ireland between 1999 and 2010, has been added to Ian Baraclough’s backroom team after he was handed the reins last month following the departure of Michael O’Neill to Stoke City.

The 41-year-old was last summer appointed as first team technical coach and head of player development at Rovers, a promotion from his excellent previous work with the Under-23s.

And it is understood that he will continue in that role despite his appointment within the national team set-up.

Johnson joins Jimmy Nicholl, Austin MacPhee and Steve Harper as part of Baraclough’s new-look backroom team.

“Damien is a young, dynamic coach doing great things and a familiar face to many in the squad. As far as the international stage goes, he knows what it’s all about,” Baraclough said.

"I’m thankful to Tony Mowbray for allowing Damien to join us for what will be a crucial period of football for the men’s senior team.”

Johnson came through the ranks at Rovers and went on to make 81 appearances for the club who he re-joined in 2015 as Under-21s manager.

He had five years in that role, leading the youngsters to the Premier League 2 Division Two title in 2018 and the Lancashire Senior Cup a year later.

Last July Rovers announced that Johnson had been promoted to the senior coaching set-up, with Billy Barr promoted to Under-23s boss having previously worked with the Under-18s.

Johnson has continued to work closely with a number of the club’s young players in aiding their development, with Ryan Nyambe and John Buckley among those to praise the Northern Irishman’s role in their progress.

He joins the Northern Ireland set-up as they prepare for the Nations League tournament which returns in September, and the Euro 2020 play-off semi-final against Bosnia which is expected to take place in October or November.

Baraclough will be hoping to lead his side to next summer's finals and eclipse the achievements of O'Neill in 2016.