Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Steven Beacom: Our boys must get nasty

Northern Ireland, and not Slovenia, should really be playing Russia this weekend in a play-off to make the World Cup finals.

Instead we have Serbia in a friendly.

As always the fans will get behind the team at Windsor Park, but behind every song and cheer, there will be that feeling of what might have been.

We had a fantastic chance to reach South Africa, but in the end blew it because of defensive errors, a failure to take chances and maybe most of all because when the crunch comes we’re just not street smart enough.

The players have the ability to cut out the mistakes and capitalise on opportunities in the next campaign, but having that little bit of devil in them to go all the way might be a little tougher to sort out.

Our squad is full of nice guys. Finding a nasty streak will give us real hope of qualifying for a major tournament.

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