O’Neill rues missed chances in NI loss

Dejection for Corry Evans as the hosts celebrate Edin Dzeko’s opening goal in Sarajevo

Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill was disappointed as his team hit the woodwork three times in a 2-0 defeat by Bosnia-Herzegovina.

It leaves O’Neill’s side bottom of their Nations League group after losing all three games.

“We don’t have that player who can win you games when it’s tight,” he said.

“So when opportunities come our way we have to take them – in these three games we have had numerous chances but we’ve not taken them.”

George Saville was first to strike the post before substitute Gavin Whyte was denied twice by the woodwork – both players were also guilty of glaring misses.

“It was the timing of the misses that hurt us – if we had gone ahead then the whole dynamic of the game would have changed,” added O’Neill.

Nations League: Northern Ireland a work in progress – O’Neill

“George hits the post and should have scored before that but then there’s a mistake from Jamal (Lewis) and Dzeko punishes us.

“Then we should have been level with young Gavin’s chance and we are punished again.

“There were positive aspects of the performance but we’re still a work in progress and there’s aspects of the display that need addressed.

“It was not an experienced team and hopefully these games will make us more game savvy when the European qualifiers come around.”

Corry Evans was handed the captain’s armband to mark his 50th Northern Ireland appearance and he also highlighted the team’s wasteful finishing.

Northern Ireland midfielder Stuart Dallas stretches to control the ball in the Nations League game

“When you come to a place this this and don’t take tour chances you get punished,” said the midfielder.

“It’s disappointing to lose the game but we didn’t take our chances at key moments.

“We’ve got to learn from it and learn from it quickly – we’ve got to get back to winning matches and hopefully we can do that next month.”


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