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Northern Ireland boss Ian Baraclough admitted that he understood the frustrations of fans after a 3-2 defeat to Kosovo. Baraclough revealed he had no issues with fans turning on him and believes that their performance in defeat was a step forward. He was greeted by shouts of ‘Cheerio’ when he went to thank the traveling fans at the end of the game. Nearly 500 Northern Ireland fans traveled for the game. They have now gone 13 games without a Nations League win while Baracalough has only managed three wins in 19 appearances.

“It’s understandable. They’re here, they want to follow and watch their team playing, but what do we do about players who are being blooded and building for the future?,” Northern Ireland boss Ian Baraclough said. “We knew we had to go through a certain amount of pain on it as well and we are as it goes forward. You’ll see improvement and you’ve seen a difference between the first two games and this one tonight.”

“Count the caps. Take (Steven Davis), Jonny (Evans), and Kyle Lafferty out of the side and see how inexperienced the group is. We lost Paddy McNair on the morning of the match. They have to learn and get that experience from somewhere,” he added. “I thought the young lads showed great spirit, the lads coming off the bench as well. Shea Charles, and Conor Bradley, they’re lads who weren’t around a few months ago, who might have expected to be playing for the under-21s or under-19s. Let’s not be all negative about the way they’ve gone and played. Yes, about the result. I understand that, and I understand the fans’ frustration but there are ways of losing a game of football and that’s it.”

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