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Despite his failure to pick up his first win as manager of Northern Ireland, the president of the Irish FA maintains that Michael O'Neill is still the right man for the job

The president of the Irish Football Association (IFA) Jim Shaw has publicly backed Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill after his side failed to defeat Azerbaijan at Windsor Park on Wednesday November 14.

In their qualification campaign thus far, Michael O'Neill's team have notched up an away loss against Russia and three 1-1 draws - against Luxembourg at home, Portugal away and Azerbaijan at home.

And while Shaw admitted that it is far from perfect, he insisted that there was 'no pressure' on the former Shamrock Rovers manager.

"From a supporters point of view, it is important to win and we have to accept that," Shaw told the Belfast Telegraph. "But there is no pressure on Michael O'Neill at all. He is working with a squad that I feel has gelled really well over the last few months.

"We have started the campaign at home with the two lowest rated teams in the group and we haven't been able to put either of them away and that is disappointing. We do need to get to a stage where we are beating the lesser teams."

Despite the inability to defeat the lowest ranked teams in the group, Shaw maintains that O'Neill remains 'the man for the job.

"I still think he is the man for the job. He needs time. I know football managers sometimes don't get much time, but that's what he needs," he said.

With four games played, Northern Ireland currently lie fourth in Group F, behind Russia, Israel and Portugal.


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