Gareth McAuley denies Robert Lewandowski
Northern Ireland star Gareth McAuley has admitted they were too defensive in the first half of their 1-0 defeat to Poland at Euro 2016.
Ajax striker Arkadiusz Milik scored the only goal of the game in the second half as Michael O’Neill’s men fell to a narrow loss, but Norn Iron did have late chances.
And McAuley, speaking to talkSPORT, revealed he felt they failed to use the ball well enough and may have had too many players sitting deep in the first half as they looked to restrict their Group C opponents in Nice.
He said: “It is disappointing losing the game but it’s not the end of the world, we’ve got two more games to come.
“We set up to try and take something from this game and we’re disappointed we didn’t.
“We changed things at half-time a little bit and then when they scored we changed the system again but we didn’t use the ball enough when we had it.
“I think we had too many bodies in there at times. We had two spare men. We set up to nullify Robert Lewandowski’s movement and it turned out he moved away and someone else scored in the second half.
“We don’t expect to dominate the ball and we have to be good without it – disciplined and focused. We were that, and we were resilient. There is no doubting the spirit and the determination of the lads.”