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We dug in to make our point, says jubilant Chris Brunt after Northern Ireland draw with Hungary

By Staff Reporter

Published 09/09/2015

Chris Brunt
Chris Brunt

Northern Ireland's Chris Brunt insists the great spirit and character of the side dug them out of a big hole against Hungary on Monday night at Windsor Park.

Trailing 1-0 and with Chris Baird in the dressing room after being sent off, Michael O'Neill's men refused to throw in the towel with Kyle Lafferty equalising in injury-time to earn the home side a point in a compelling Euro 2016 qualifier.

What a vital strike that could prove to be with Northern Ireland still top of Group F and crucially four points ahead of third-placed Hungary rather than just one with two games left in the campaign.

West Brom ace Brunt was happy with how the team started the game, and after the frustration of conceding a 74th-minute goal, how the players re-grouped and took a point from the fixture.

He said: "We were delighted with how we played in the first-half. We didn't think Hungary caused us any problems at all but in the second-half they came out a lot stronger.

"The manager had said how a lot of their goals had come in the last 10 to 15 minutes of games so obviously to concede the goal from a set-piece was disappointing because we would see that as one of our strengths.

"We regrouped well though, especially after the red card, which I thought was ridiculous.

"We could have fallen apart and lost by two or three but credit to everyone who dug in and defended well when we had to.

"The crowd definitely played a part in dragging us over the line, particularly when we went down to 10 men.

"There was a lot of tired bodies from Friday night when we won in the Faroe Islands and it would have been easy to roll over but the lads dug in and we got the result we deserved."

Brunt was delighted that the stoppage-time opportunity fell to Lafferty, who is suspended for next month's clash with Greece at Windsor Park.

"Obviously, with the form he's in, when the ball drops down that's the person you want in front of it. He took it well. We're going to have to do it without him next time, though," said Brunt.

On Monday night Northern Ireland needed a victory to qualify. Come October 8, a win over Greece will finish the job.

"Windsor will be bouncing again then, and hopefully we can get over the line," added Brunt.

Belfast Telegraph

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