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European Qualifiers Group F

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European Qualifiers Group F

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

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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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terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

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he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

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o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

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