Belfast Telegraph

Maybe VAR would have cleared it up: Paddy McNair discusses Northern Ireland penalty appeal against Germany

Missed call: Paddy McNair felt he should have had a spot kick
Missed call: Paddy McNair felt he should have had a spot kick

By Steven Beacom

Paddy McNair has revealed he feared he could have been sent off in the second half against Germany after an incident at the Kop end of Windsor Park that had the home crowd baying for a penalty.

The Northern Ireland midfielder went down in the box under a challenge with the Germans leading 1-0 in Monday's Euro 2020 qualifier, but the referee waved away loud appeals for a spot-kick.

The Middlesbrough ace thought there was contact, though when no penalty was given, he worried that he may be cautioned, which would have led to his dismissal having been booked earlier for tangling with Toni Kroos.

"I haven't seen the penalty incident again but I certainly felt a bit of contact," said McNair post match.

"There wasn't much contact but I went down. I didn't want to be in a situation where the ref thought it was a dive and then sent me off.

"Then again, I didn't want him to think there was no contact because I did feel it.

"I've no doubt about that, though I understand why the referee didn't give it.

"Maybe VAR would have cleared that up."

McNair excelled in the 2-0 defeat and has now become a key figure in Michael O'Neill's side. The former Manchester United man rued the chances that got away.

"Conor (Washington) forced a good save out of Manuel Neuer and then Stuarty (Dallas) played a great ball across the box and I'm not really too sure what happened," he said.

"Conor just couldn't get it over the line and that could easily have gone in and we'd have gone into half-time 1-0 up," said McNair.

"It's really small margins. I thought we were brilliant in the first half.

"Even in the second half at 1-0 Stuart shot a yard wide. That could have gone the other side of the post which makes it a different game again.

"It's a good sign coming out of a game like that thinking we definitely should have taken something from it. They needed an unbelievable goal to take the lead.

"After that, I think the real Germany started to come through. They kept the ball well and they managed the game and limited our chances.

"It is definitely our best performance against them in recent meetings, but you can't help feel it was a missed opportunity."

On the rest of the campaign, with home and away encounters with Holland and a trip to Germany to come, McNair said: "We have difficult games coming up but we have to stay positive considering the position we have put ourselves in.

"We aren't going to be disheartened. There are plenty of positives to take from the German game and campaign so far."

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