Michael O'Neill upbeat despite Northern Ireland defeat by Turkey

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill says he is encouraged by the display in Turkey despite losing 1-0.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill saw positives in his side's display - despite the goalkeeping error which led to them losing 1-0 in Turkey.

Roy Carroll was at fault for Mevlut Erdinc's goal just before half-time.

"[Carroll] knows he made the wrong decision," said O'Neill. "The mix-up between him and Chris Baird was a pity.

"The way we conceded the goal was disappointing, as was the timing. Aside from that there were some very good performances from us."

The only goal was scored when Mevlut latched onto Bilal Kisa's long ball and took advantage of a misunderstanding between Carroll and Baird.

"It would have been easy to lose heart after conceding a goal like that," said O'Neill. "But they kept their heads up and kept going."

Northern Ireland were forced to defend for spells during the game but also created a number of chances of their own.

Oliver Norwood fired over the bar and saw another effort saved by Tolga Zengin.

At the other end, Aaron Hughes almost scored an own goal while Burak Yilmaz hit the woodwork for the hosts.

"There were several positives to take from the game," said O'Neill.

"The display in the second half, particularly in relation to how we kept the ball, was very encouraging and the younger players in the squad can only be the better for the experience.

"The spirit among the players was good - they played with a high intensity and their work-rate was phenomenal."

Top Stories