Russia vs. Northern Ireland  2 - 0


McAuley happy to frustrate Russia

8 September 2012 19:20

Northern Ireland defender Gareth McAuley has praised his side's efforts in stopping Russia's attacking play despite their 2-0 loss.

Manager Michael O'Neill tasted defeat in his first competitive game in charge, but his team managed to prevent their opponents breaking into their territory often during the World Cup qualifier.

"We did what we wanted to do and that was frustrate," McAuley told Sky Sports.

"We had a lot of our senior players back for this match and there are lots of caps at this level from throughout the team.

"The pressure was on us to be better with the ball this time but we knew they were a top side and would have a lot of the ball.

"But we annoyed them and we could have had a goal ourselves."

McAuley was also heavily involved in his side's attacking play, twice heading over from Chris Brunt crosses, and he believes there is a good understanding between himself and his West Bromwich Albion team-mate.

He added: "Brunty and I have talked about doing what we did at the club - his corner and my header.

"We had talked about how small a side they generally are and we just agreed in situations like that we would go for it."


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