Irish FA president Jim Shaw has backed Michael O’Neill to transform Northern Ireland’s football fortunes.
O’Neill’s future as international manager has come under increased scrutiny following Tuesday night’s embarrassing 3-2 defeat to Luxembourg.
Many have labelled the defeat as the worst result in Northern Ireland’s history.
O’Neill’s contract is set to expire next month after two final World Cup qualifiers with Azerbaijan and Israel.
The former midfielder has won just one of 12 games since taking over from Nigel Worthington at the start of last year.
But despite a lack of positive results, IFA chief Shaw believes O’Neill is the man to lead Northern Ireland into the next European Championship qualifying campaign.
“Obviously fans are downhearted after Tuesday night. It was a very poor performance. But we have to get over it and move on,” Shaw said.
“There was no-one more shell-shocked than Michael himself and he will be determined to put things right over the next two games.”
The IFA is set to open up talks on O’Neill’s future before next month’s double-header with Azerbaijan and Israel.
Shaw admits there is a swell of support within the Association for the current manager.
“We have to take a balanced view,” he added.
“Any decision on Michael’s future won’t be based purely on results. There has been a lot of behind-the-scenes work Michael has done which people don’t get to see.
“When Michael came into the post last year we started from the bottom, and it will take time. But I believe we are moving in the right direction.
“ I firmly believe Michael is capable of doing the job, and many within the IFA agree. The swell of opinion is we are progressing. The main focus now should be on getting two positive results and trying to finish fourth in Group F.”