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The Northern Ireland manager has expressed pride in his players but is disappointed to have given up the lead and is not getting carried away

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill has said that he does not intend to get 'carried away' after guiding his team to an impressive away draw with Portugal on Tuesday October 16.

The Green and Whites took an unlikely lead on 30 minutes when Aberdeen winger Niall McGinn struck the ball past Patricio and O'Neill's men held on to the lead until 79 minutes when Helder Postiga scored an equaliser for the hosts.

However, despite acknowledging that it is a 'huge result', O'Neill was nevertheless disappointed to have relinquished the lead.

"It's a huge result. I don't tend to get carried away," he told reporters after the game. "And the main thing for me is that regardless of the result, I was proud to stand there tonight and be their manager. That's because of what they gave to the cause and to each other."

He continued: "We're very disappointed only to draw but we recognised that we would have to defend for our lives and that certainly proved to be the case, especially in the second half.

"Having gone that far it was a bit of a blow (to concede). But we got what we deserved, simple as that, and I'm immensely proud of the players. There was nothing more I could ask from first to last," added the Northern Ireland boss.

With three games played in Group F, Northern Ireland now have two points and find themselves in fourth position behind Russia, Portugal and Israel.


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