Paddy McNair has told his Northern Ireland team-mates to keep thinking after their hopes took a hit by Monday’s 2-0 home defeat they are able to qualify for Euro 2020.
A performance at Windsor Park wasn’t enough to prevent Michael O’Neill’s side falling their first points of the campaign because Marcel Halstenberg’s outstanding strike and Serge Gnabry second demonstrated the
The effect saw Germany move top level, of Group C with Northern Ireland on 12 points in five games.
However, the task gets with the Netherlands, for the Green and White Army away up next and a Visit to Frankfurt to come in November.
“Of course we would have obtained this place at the start of the effort,” McNair said. “We have three really tough matches to come and then now we proceed to Holland in the next match.
“Then we’ve got them in the home and Germany off, however we are not likely to become disheartened.
“We will give them all a tough game. There are plenty of advantages and we move on to next month”
A defeated O’Neill called the game a”missed opportunity” in the immediate aftermath, provided the possibilities Northern Ireland created, for example two openings such as Conor Washington, during a strong beginning to the evening .
“It’s really small margins in the sport, but I thought we were amazing from the first halfof” McNair added. “It’s definitely a huge improvement. Even in the second half, Stuart [Dallas] shot a yard wide and that might easily go another side of this post which makes it a different game .”
Northern Ireland may have had the opportunity to level just after McNair tumbled under a challenge however, referee Daniel Orsato waved their appeals.
“I have not seen the punishment episode again, but that I felt a bit of contact,” said McNair. “There wasn’t much contact, but I moved down. I didn’t want to be in a scenario where the ref thought it was a dive and sent me off [to get a second
Booking], but I did not want him to believe there was no touch since it was felt by me.
“It wasn’t much, but I still know why the referee did not give it. There was touch, however, I have no doubt about this. Maybe VAR could have cleared that up.”
Dallas fired broad shortly afterwards, before issues settled in stoppage time, but this was the last chance for the hosts.
“it is a great sign coming out of a game believing we definitely have to have taken something out of it,” McNair added. “It’s definitely our very best performance against those in recent meetings, but you can’t help but believe this was a missed opportunity.
“But we’re still joint top of the group. I understand we’ve got three hard games coming up, but we must keep optimistic considering the position we have put ourselves ”