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Michael O'Neill admits he was going to take off Kyle Lafferty before equaliser

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill admits that he was going to substitute Kyle Lafferty before the striker's vital equaliser against Hungary.

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill has admitted that he was going to take off Kyle Lafferty before the striker scored a crucial equaliser in last night's Euro 2016 qualifier against Hungary.

Lafferty struck four minutes into injury time to seal a 1-1 draw for his nation at Windsor Park.

Richard Guzmics scored for Hungary inside the final 20 minutes of the game, but the Green and White Army were able to pull off a last-gasp response, despite going down to 10 men following Chris Baird's dismissal.

"We were going to take Kyle off at 0-0 as he was shattered," O'Neill told reporters. "He's had a lack of football and training coming into these two games.

"He trained for a week on the back of a knee injury, and by his own admission his performances haven't been at the level he's capable of, but he has given us two goals and as soon as they scored we had to keep him on the pitch. We had to go to 3-4-2 and it was just a case of hanging in there."

Northern Ireland will qualify for next summer's tournament if they get two points from their last two games.

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Kyle Lafferty (R) of Northern Ireland and Richard Guzmics (L) of Hungary in action during the Euro 2016 Group F qualifying match at Windsor Park on September 7, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
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