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Croatia, Switzerland qualify for World Cup

14 November 2017

"I know it's a hard time and it will come for them and they will make considerations going forward, certainly the likes of Aaron and Gareth at 38 and 37, and Chris Brunt...these players that have had long and established Northern Ireland careers".

"We are a very good team and it would not be just for us not to go to Russian Federation."A strong defensive performance, especially in the second half, was enough for Croatia to leave the Karaisiakis Stadium with a comfortable victory over the two legs after winning 4-1 on Thursday".

Denmark and Ireland played to a 0-0 draw in their first match, which makes the second one a winner-takes-all.

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"But from a football point of view, Michael's first thought is to defend and he has Premier League defenders in the Northern Ireland squad".

"We're missing out on the chance to go to the World Cup".

Greece did put the ball in the net in the 79th minute, but substitute Dimitris Pelkas was correctly called offside.Bologna defender Vasilis Torosidis' shot was blocked by Subasic with just three minutes left, denying Greece even a consolation strike.

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A number of Northern Ireland players, led by captain Steven Davis and Jonny Evans, have publicly stated their desire for O'Neill to stay and continue his work. We should still be playing extra-time now, that's the reality.

"It's about being with my players, spending time with them and making sure they are okay. The players are devastated but I couldn't be any prouder".

His Northern Ireland side went down fighting at St Jakob-Park with energy, commitment and heart - all characteristics of O'Neill's near six-year tenure.

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Following his success with Northern Ireland and the added factor of an emotional attachment to the country he made 31 appearances for, O'Neill will not take any decision to leave lightly and will only be tempted by a job that offers a clear vision and allows him time to build.

Croatia, Switzerland qualify for World Cup