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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 October 2005, 12:53 GMT 13:53 UK
NI boss bemoans 'unlucky' defeat

Lawrie Sanchez
Northern Ireland manager Lawrie Sanchez could not believe that his side had been beaten 3-2 by Wales in Saturday's World Cup qualifier at Windsor Park.

"At 2-0 down at half-time, I said to the players that we had to go out and liven outselves up," said Sanchez.

"We hit two goals in the five minutes after half-time but then were hit by a Premiership-quality free-kick by Giggs.

"We were magnificent in the second half, had a couple of penalty appeals and so many other efforts on goal."

Sanchez felt his side had been the better team in the opening 20 minutes but by half-time was worried that they were going to get their "backsides spanked".

"At half-time, I told the players that they had done everything they could to puncture the balloon we had sent up after the England game.

"When we got the two goals, it was then a matter of holding on for a bit but we were hit by Giggs' free-kick.

Sometimes you feel that it's not meant to be your day
NI boss Lawrie Sanchez

"Thereafter, how many efforts did we have?

"We had penalty appeals turned down, their goalkeeper dropped balls on the line and they were blocking things on the line.

"Sometimes you feel that it's not meant to be your day."

Sanchez added that he was convinced that his team would get something of Wednesday's game in Austria, if they repeat Saturday's second half display.

"If we do that, we'll certainly get something in the Austria game."

Sanchez acknowledged that the absence of captain Aaron Hughes and Chris Baird had weakened the Northern Ireland defence.

"It was a big miss today being without two of our normal back-four."

Baird will be available for Wednesday's game after suspension but Tony Capaldi is banned for the match after being booked on Saturday.

Interview: Northern Ireland boss Lawrie Sanchez

Interview: Northern Ireland's Keith Gillespie

Interview: Northern Ireland assistant manager Gerry Armstrong

Northern Ireland 1-0 England
07 Sep 05 |  Internationals
Sanchez hails team after victory
07 Sep 05 |  Internationals
Sanchez acknowledges Hughes blow
29 Sep 05 |  Internationals


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