Hampden Park

Next Game

Scotland v N Ireland

Wednesday, 25 March 2015, 19:45

International Match

Last Game

Romania 2 - 0 N Ireland

Friday, 14 November 2014, 19:45

European Qualifiers Group F

Paterson bullish after loss

Martin Paterson insists a young Northern Ireland squad can take some positives from their miserable World Cup qualifying campaign.

Last Updated: 12/10/13 at 14:31 Post Comment

Martin Paterson: Battles Elnur Allahverdiyev in Baku

Martin Paterson: Battles Elnur Allahverdiyev in Baku

Michael O'Neill's side arrived in Azerbaijan hoping to show that last month's loss to Luxembourg was a blip but slumped to another depressing result with a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Group F's bottom side.

The result makes a fourth-placed finish unlikely and means an even tougher draw for Euro 2016 qualifying could await.

"There are positives to take, as mad as that sounds," Paterson, who hit the goalframe two minutes from time, said.

"I don't think we're miles away but it's a fine line. We had four or five good

chances, they got one break and scored: that's international football.

"But we are still a young group. We've got to learn quickly and turn results

around. If we do we have a chance of really pushing in the next campaign, but we have to work harder as a unit."

A Jonny Evans red card compounded Northern Ireland's woe and O'Neill faces the unenviable challenge of lifting a depleted squad for Tuesday's final match in Israel.

O'Neill, who has Oliver Norwood and Gareth McAuley suspended, said: "We have three players out but we also have men to come in - particularly the likes of Sammy Clingan and Chris Baird.

"We'll have to look at the centre-back situation because of the players we've lost to suspension and that is self inflicted.

"But I thought the referee was not strong enough. I'm disappointed with him,

he should have been stronger on the night."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

was there, it was embarrassing - the team looked totally unbalanced from the off, the defence was woeful and when Mikel came off injured it got even worse with nobody in front of them. Up front on several occasions we had opportunities and nobody would shoot - it was a complete farse! On the back of Salah's performance I'm glad there is talk of getting shot...

Fly1ngh1gh
Cup defeat shames Mourinho

G

reat to see Tommy Rosicky getting some love. A wonderful player. Such a pity we lost so long to injury. I was so excited when we signed him, this resurgence only makes the absences seem more of a lost opportunity.

cheshire-gooner
16 Conclusions: FA Cup Fourth Round Weekend

A

pparently Chiles has blamed Twitter trolls for his exit. Proof that even the worst things can get great results at times.

cheshire-gooner
Adrian Chiles to leave ITV

Footer 365

Transfer news: Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Douglas Costa says it would be 'dream' to join Chelsea

Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Douglas Costa says it would be "a dream" to play for Chelsea and Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea: Mourinho gives flops silent treatment

Jose Mourinho was so disappointed by Chelsea's defeat to League One Bradford that he dished out the silent treatment.

Sepp Blatter shrugs-off UEFA's challenge to his leadership as 'lacking courage'

Sepp Blatter tells UEFA “they do not have the courage” to sufficiently challenge his leadership at this year's election.

Mail Box

A Massive Mailbox On A Weekend Of Wonder

We unsurprisingly have plenty of mails on a wonderful FA Cup weekend, including thoughts on Palace, Van Gaal, Phil Jones, Chelsea, Mourinho and Yaya Toure...

Appalling, Slow, Pathetic, Embarrassing

It's a bonus Saturday Mailbox, with plenty of reaction to the most alarming 0-0 draw in Manchester United's recent history. At what point do we worry about Louis van Gaal?

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company