Aaron Hughes happy with Northern Ireland progress

Hughes happy with NI progress
© PA Photos
Northern Ireland defender Aaron Hughes believes that his side are moving in the right direction under manager Michael O'Neill despite having failed to win any of the seven matches under his tenure.

Northern Ireland defender Aaron Hughes has praised the progress his side are making under manager Michael O'Neill.

O'Neill has yet to win a match in charge of Northern Ireland, having lost three and drawn four of his first seven matches.

These include home draws against the likes of Luxembourg and Azerbaijan, but Hughes believes that the draw away to Portugal in October shows that the side is moving in the right direction.

"We're still building on a lot of things. With Michael coming in and the way he wants us to play, I think the lads have actually taken that on pretty quick because there is a lot of attention to detail and there's not a lot of time to work on it," said Hughes.

"We got our rewards in the game against Portugal, that was all down to the shape and the discipline and hard work. We don't go there expecting to have 45-50% possession, we know we could come away with 20% possession, but we've come away with a point. Then you flip that in the game when we came home. It's still difficult to break teams down. The last game we played (against Azerbaijan), we literally threw everything at them and it was just one of those games where it wouldn't go in.

"We could go through this campaign and have a good go at it, maybe come up a little short, but I think, for the future, if we can keep this group together as much as we can, I think we could get back up there really pushing for qualification again."

Northern Ireland currently sit fourth in their World Cup Qualifying group, four points behind Portugal and Israel.

Michael O'Neill
Read Next:
Match Analysis: Northern Ireland 1-1 Azerbaijan
>
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in with Facebook to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account