Nations League: Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill says side deserved at least a draw

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    We deserved at least a draw – Michael O’Neill

    Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill said his side deserved at least a draw from their 1-0 Nations League defeat by Austria.

    O’Neill felt his side created the better chances either side of Marko Arnautovic’s 71st-minute winner in Vienna.

    The defeat condemned NI to a second loss in two games, leaving them bottom of Group B3 with two matches remaining.

    “We are disappointed to lose the game,” O’Neill said.

    “It took us a while in the first half to get to grips with the game but I felt the shape of the team was good and they didn’t cause us many problems.

    “I felt that on the night we did enough not to lose the game and we were undone by a piece of class from Arnautovic.

    “We had the best chances to go ahead before their goal and then we hit the post after they scored.

    “It was a good test for our young players and it will help make us stronger as we try to develop the squad.”

    Marko Arnautovic scored after Steven Davis missed a good chance for Northern Ireland

    ‘Decisions went against us’

    O’Neill remonstrated with the referee throughout the match and was disappointed with the number of decisions that went against his side.

    “I thought the balance of decisions went against us,” he said.

    “It was a physical match and we had to compete but the referee should have let the game flow a lot more than he did.

    “Austria set their stall out from the start but there were too many fussy decisions that didn’t need to be made.

    “Sometimes you feel more aggrieved as the away side and that was certainly the case tonight.”

    Looking ahead to Monday’s match in Bosnia-Herzegovina, O’Neill is under no illusions as to how tough it will be.

    “They have six points and will be looking to beat us to cement their position in the group,” he added.

    “We lost another striker tonight through injury in Will Grigg and Liam Boyce had to sit out so we are not blessed in the forward department.

    “But we just have to go and compete again and try to take something from the game.”

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