Belfast Telegraph

Fans deserve more

Editor's Viewpoint

The 1,200 Northern Ireland fans who saw their team slump to a horrendous defeat at the hands of Luxembourg – a team full of amateurs who hadn't won in 43 matches – have every right to be angry and disappointed. How could a team which beat Russia and played two sterling matches against Portugal perform so badly against such limited opposition? Northern Ireland will always struggle on the world stage, but the fans, who pay good money to attend away games, expect them to play with pride.

Undoubtedly there will be the usual knee-jerk reaction with calls to sack manager Michael O'Neill. His record is poor, but he has a very limited pool of players to choose from, even when all of them are available. And after the Luxembourg game, there will hardly be a queue of managers clamouring to take over his job.

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