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Northern Ireland's McAuley wants to right wrongs
Published : 13 Aug 2013 10:16:53Rss feed
Gareth McAuley admits Northern Ireland's long winless run has cut the players deep and left them desperate to restore some pride with a positive result against Russia on Wednesday.
Northern Ireland have not won since August 2011, when they defeated the lowly Faroe Islands 4-0 at home, losing eight and drawing five of the subsequent 13 games.
Their home form has been a particular cause of disappointment, drawing with Azerbaijan and Luxembourg during the current World Cup qualifying campaign and losing 2-0 to Israel in their previous outing at Windsor Park.
The meeting with Fabio Capello's Russia represents another chance to restore the feelgood factor to a ground that has become an increasingly unsettled environment for the home side during their lean patch.
McAuley appreciates the supporters' recent frustrations and has assured them the players share the sentiment.
"We need to put some results back into it. We've been not getting results when we thought we should have but it's about not getting frustrated too," he said.
"There's nothing worse than coming away and getting frustrated through not getting results and getting frustrated at ourselves.
"It's never nice, even worse when you're getting booed off by your own crowd. It's like you've let the whole country down really and nobody appreciates that you've run about and tried and you take that away with you. You take it to heart a bit but you can't carry it around with you and take it back to your club.
"The thing is there is so much time between games and that's when it can become frustrating."
Despite the trials and tribulations that come with being a Northern Ireland player, West Brom regular McAuley remains a vocal advocate of international football.
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