Belfast Telegraph

We need to find a creative spark, says NI women's boss Alfie Wylie

By Adam McKendry

Northern Ireland women's manager Alfie Wylie was disappointed with his team's performance after their 2-0 defeat to the Republic of Ireland.

Wylie's women were outplayed by their southern counterparts at Mourneview Park in their World Cup qualifier, and an impressive defensive effort kept the scoreline to a minimum.

An unfortunate Rachel Furness own goal just before half-time gave the visitors the lead, and a spectacular Megan Campbell goal secured the three points.

And speaking after the game, Wylie believes his girls didn't play well enough to get the win and that they need to be more creative.

"I'm disappointed, we should have played a lot better than we did," Wylie said.

"But we get up, we get on with it, we don't feel sorry for ourselves.

"We defended well, but we were playing deep and we needed to get out and go at it a bit more.

"Maybe if we'd got to half-time at 0-0 it would have been a bit different. It meant we had to go out and win it, we had to get a second forward on up front and make a go of it.

"But we didn't work well enough to win the game."

The Northern Ireland boss was also frustrated by the tactics used by the Irish, with the majority of their chances coming from Campbell's long throws.

Her accurate and fast delivery caused havoc in the Northern Ireland box, and led to Furness heading into her own net seconds before the interval, leaving Wylie angry at their style of play.

"They didn't try to play any football, they just tried to play it to the corners and win throws, and that's disappointing," he blasted.

"But it's not for me to talk about the opposition.

"We need to get our house in order, try to play football and try to win games.

"That said, if we could throw a ball like that I'd be trying to do the same."

Republic defender Campbell, who was player of the match, was delighted with the win, however, and believes that her side can build on this result as the group progresses.

"We knew coming here was never going to be an easy task so the girls did really well to win, it shows we have great character," the Manchester City defender said.

"We knew our chances would come and when they did we took them."

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