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Michael's glory night topped my German heroics, admits Tommy Wright

By Graham Luney

Published 23/06/2016

Golden moment: Tommy Wright after his 1996 heroics in Nuremberg
Golden moment: Tommy Wright after his 1996 heroics in Nuremberg

Tommy Wright has hailed Michael McGovern's performance against Germany as more heroic than any of his sensational displays on the international stage.

The former Northern Ireland keeper also foiled the Germans in spectacular fashion in Nuremberg in 1996 as the European champions were held 1-1 in a World Cup qualifier.

But McGovern's astonishing performance on Tuesday night, which featured a string of stunning stops, must be recorded as one of the greatest ever individual Northern Ireland displays.

"Strangely I was thinking back to our game in 1996 when I was watching it," admitted St Johnstone boss Wright.

"But I never made that number of saves and Michael defied the Germans seven times in the finals of the European Championship to secure a place in the last 16. I'm really pleased for him. I know him well from working with him at Under-21 level and also through the game in Scotland.

"It was a very important game and Michael rose to the occasion in what was a superb rearguard action. His contract has expired at Hamilton and I've no doubt there will be a lot of interest in him now."

Wright, who won 31 Northern Ireland caps, added: "They fought back superbly from the opening loss to Poland and that takes great character and mettle.

"Michael (McGovern) has also put his mistake against Hungary behind him and he's been excellent. Germany were very dangerous going forward but it was a fantastic result in the end that was enough to go through.

"Hopefully the players can recover and go again."

Northern Ireland during Thursdays training session ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament in Paris.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland during Thursdays training session ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament in Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Austin MacPhee talks to Michael McGovern while Will Grigg and Corry Evans are pictured on the exercise bikes during Thursdays training session ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament in Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland during Thursdays training session ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament in Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland during Thursdays training session ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament in Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland during Thursdays training session ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament in Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland during Thursdays training session ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament in Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland during Thursdays training session ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament in Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland during Thursdays training session ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament in Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland during Thursdays training session ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament in Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland during Thursdays training session ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament in Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland during Thursdays training session ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament in Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland during Thursdays training session ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament in Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland during Thursdays training session ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament in Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland during Thursdays training session ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament in Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland during Thursdays training session ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament in Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Craig Cathcart during Thursdays training session ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament in Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans, Oliver Norwood and Conor McLaughlin during Thursdays training session ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament in Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Aaron Hughes during Thursdays training session ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament in Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Austin MacPhee talks to Michael McGovern while Will Grigg and Corry Evans are pictured on the exercise bikes during Thursdays training session ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament in Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty during Thursdays training session ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament in Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans during Thursdays training session ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament in Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Niall McGinn during Thursdays training session ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament in Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Oliver Norwood and Jimmy Nicholl during Thursdays training session ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament in Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Paddy McNair during Thursdays training session ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament in Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans during Thursdays training session ahead of their game against Wales in the last 16 of the Euro 2016 tournament in Paris. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 23rd June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry

Belfast Telegraph

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