Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Blame me for Turkey loss: Northern Ireland goalkeeper Roy Carroll

Northern Ireland's Roy Carroll after Turkey's Mevlut Erdin scores against them
Northern Ireland's Roy Carroll after Turkey's Mevlut Erdin scores against them

Northern Ireland goalkeeper Roy Carroll took the blame after his blunder against Turkey led to a 1-0 defeat and another disappointing result for Michael O'Neill.

The Northern Ireland boss, having signed a two year extension to his contract, was hoping for a positive outcome last night to build momentum in the run up to next year's European Championship qualifiers, but not for the first time in his reign he was let down by a basic error.

Carroll has been one of the few consistent performers for O'Neill since his appointment in 2011, but the Olympiakos ace was badly at fault for the only goal of the friendly on the stroke of half-time.

Mevlut Erdinc was alive to the situation as Carroll's misunderstanding with defender Chris Baird allowed the Turk to score.

To that point Northern Ireland were looking pretty comfortable. They tried to get back into the game after the break but simply lacked the creativity and clinical finishing to do so.

It means O'Neill now has one win, six draws and eight defeats in his 15 games in charge. It is also a ridiculous 1,109 minutes since Northern Ireland scored away from home in a friendly.

O'Neill said: "I'm disappointed, particularly with the nature of the goal and the time it occurred. It was a bad mistake after we'd defended well.

"Roy held his hands up. He knows himself he made the wrong decision and he's disappointed in that. We responded well and maybe this is another case of us not getting what we deserved."

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