Northern Ireland debut loss in Nations League but Tanya Oxtoby picking out positives
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The inaugural UEFA Women’s Nations League clash attracted an attendance of almost 36,000, with a reported 1,300 fans cheering on Northern Ireland.
Focus now turns to Albania on Tuesday evening with Oxtoby in front of home support for the first time at Belfast’s Seaview.
“Some really good bits for us - we wanted to get an idea of where we are at in terms of our journey,” said Oxtoby on the Northern Ireland social media platforms. “Competing against a team that's just been to a major tournament (World Cup finals)...I thought there were some really positive parts to our play and some bits we need to tidy up on
“From our point of view we've only been together, in terms of the way we want to play, for five days.
“The goals we conceded are very preventable (but) all positives and we keep building and look forward to Tuesday.
“The occasion today is the winner I think in terms of the crowd.
“They got to see some fantastic football, two great teams wanting to put in positive performances.
“We want to continue that momentum, women's football in general is exploding at the minute and we want to be a part of that.
“To have a crowd out here today to come out in the numbers that they did, we want to keep that moving forward.
“I thought they were fantastic, I could hear them and they were really outnumbered obviously.
“So we made sure we went over and hopefully they appreciated that.
“But we'd love to see them out Tuesday, score some goals and give them an opportunity to get excited.
“And hopefully they saw enough today to know that we're going to be building moving forward.”
NORTHERN IRELAND: Shannon Turner, Abbie Magee, Demi Vance, Sarah McFadden, Rebecca Holloway, Joely Andrews, Caragh Hamilton, Marissa Callaghan (captain), Simone Magill, Rachel Furness, Emily Wilson.
Subs: Nadene Caldwell, Lauren Wade, Laura Rafferty, Chloe McCarron, Rachael Norney, Lilie Woods, Rebecca McKenna, Ellie Mason, Kirsty McGuinness, Caitlin McGuinness, Megan Bell, Kerry Beattie.