| 14.5°C Dublin

O'Neill: We've forgotten how to win

AFTER seeing unfancied Luxembourg snatch an unlikely 1-1 draw at Windsor Park last night, Michael O'Neill admits he is worried Northern Ireland have forgotten how to win.

Nigel Worthington lost his last four games in charge, and since O'Neill's appointment there have been three defeats and two draws.

Having seen his team fail to take maximum points from a match where they had the overwhelming majority of meaningful chances, O'Neill is concerned that the lack of victories is becoming self-perpetuating.

"There may be an issue there or an element of that," he conceded after Dean Shiels' maiden international goal was cancelled out with just four minutes left by a heavily-deflected Daniel Da Mota effort.

"There was a bit of anxiety in our play, certainly in the second half, and that comes from results.

"We probably let anxiety creep into our play too easily. We saw players do things that we wouldn't expect. The only way to change it is to win games and get results. We were in a very strong position in the last friendly game against Finland too and we went from a 2-0 lead to a 3-2 deficit before we got the draw.

"This was a similar sort of feeling, although magnified because it's a competitive game."

O'Neill was particularly disappointed by his side's showing after half-time. Although slightly wasteful, they were in obvious control in the first 45 minutes -- a dominance that was visibly eroded as the game progressed, culminating in the fortunate leveller.


Privacy