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O'Neill rues missed chances

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill felt his side's performance deserved more than their 1-1 draw with Azerbaijan in Belfast.

Last Updated: 15/11/12 at 08:34 Post Comment

Michael O'Neill: Thought his men deserved more

Michael O'Neill: Thought his men deserved more

The home side spurned chance after chance at Windsor Park before David Healy cancelled out Rauf Aliyev's first-half strike in the 96th minute - although a solitary point represents another hammer blow to their already stuttering World Cup qualifying campaign.

"The early goal obviously wasn't in the plan and knocked us a bit," said O'Neill. "But I felt from that moment forward we basically dominated the game, we missed countless chances, but the character the players showed tonight was fantastic and I can't ask any more of them.

"They went right to the death. We saw players playing the last few minutes with knocks and injures. We get the very least we deserved, and we deserved a lot more than that.

"I'm obviously disappointed for the players but I couldn't ask any more of them."

O'Neill was also critical of Azerbaijan's attempts to run the clock down at the end of the match, adding:

"I thought some of the behaviour was not really something you want to see at a football game."

Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis insisted they had been good enough to take all three points.

"We created enough chances to win two or three games but we simply couldn't find the net and when we finally did it was too late.

"I don't think I've played in a Northern Ireland performance where we've created so much, so many clear-cut chances.

"I thought the performance merited the win, but it wasn't to be."

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

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