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Sunday, 13 October, 2002, 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK
McIlroy disappointed
Northern Ireland's wall does the trick against Spain's Barajas
Northern Ireland defence go airborne to stop Barajas
Manager Sammy McIlroy was totally frustrated as he watched Northern Ireland completely outplayed by Spain in Albecete on Saturday evening.

Two goals from Baraja and another from Guti gave the hosts a 3-0 victory in this Euro 2004 qualifying match.

McIlroy had to watch the game from the stand as he was serving a one-match touchline and dressing room ban.

It meant he had to relay his instructions by walkie-talkie to coach Alan McDonald on the dugout.

"I felt completely lost,'' said McIlroy.

''It was shocking, a horrible feeling, and I hope it never happens again."

'Disappointed'

The Irish were undone by making mistakes at crucial times against a side ranked second equal in the world.

"I am disappointed with the scoreline. We contributed to every goal they scored,'' said McIlroy.

"We set out our stall but then lost our shape too much and got punished.

"We gave goals away with sloppy mistakes. But apart from those errors, I can't fault my team for their work rate and commitment."

McIlroy decided to leave David Healy on the bench and brought in Keith Gillespie as a lone striker.

Now we have to get a result against Ukraine on Wednesday

Sammy McIlroy
McIlroy strongly defended his decision.

"When did David last score a goal? My decision to go with Gillespie was based on purely the pace he can give us.

''Now we have to get a result against Ukraine on Wednesday at Windsor Park.

''At present I don't know what the injury situation is.

''I know that Gerry Taggart has calf strain and Jimmy Quinn has a virus, so we will be looking at how they are in the run-up to the game.''

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NI manager Sammy McIlroy
"We gave goals away"

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