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Carroll accepts defeat blame

16 Nov 2013 08:46:58

Carroll accepts defeat blame

Goalkeeper Roy Carroll admitted he was to blame for Northern Ireland's latest friendly frustration.

Northern Ireland's record in non-competitive matches is dreadful, with no wins in their last 18 matches outside of qualifying, but a goalless draw on the home turf of a talented Turkey side would have been a creditable effort.

Those hopes were dashed in first-half injury time when Carroll called Chris Baird off a chipped through ball only to be caught short as Mevlut Erdinc prodded home to give the hosts a 1-0 win.

It was a galling way to go down for Michael O'Neill's men, who otherwise defended stoically under sustained pressure, but the manager confirmed Carroll was ready to accept his mistake.

"Roy held his hands up. He knows himself he made the wrong decision and he's disappointed in that," said O'Neill.

"Roy called for the ball and Chris left it for him.

"Chris did the right thing in thinking Roy was coming to take it but that wasn't the case.

"He thought it was his ball. People make decisions and Roy made a bad one."

Carroll did not want to dwell on his error in public but confessed: "I was disappointed with the goal coming just before half-time. I do feel disappointed about that.

"The goal just before half-time obviously wasn't a help and certainly didn't help the team talk in the break."

The veteran Olympiacos keeper has been a constant presence throughout O'Neill's two-year reign but would prefer to see greater consistency in front of him.

"We have to work on our performances, each game we have to work hard and work as a team, but we have a lot of people missing again," he added.

"These friendlies should mean we can stick with the same team but it isn't the case, we had another different back three again.

"It would be nice to play with the same back three or four for a few games in friendlies."

O'Neill has just two or three more friendly matches before Euro 2016 qualifying gets under way next year, during which he hopes to improve on a personal record that includes just one victory in 15 matches.

But, having been reasonably content with the side's overall performance, he will be simply hoping to go clear of the kind of misfortune that gifted Turkey success in Adana.

"This team has suffered quite a few injustices in terms of not getting what they deserve from games and this was probably another example of that," he said.

"We have come out on the wrong end of a long sequence of bad decisions, bad goals and deflections.

"We've had a lot of things to deal with and we've not had anything that I can think that has really gone for us in any game."


PA

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