Euro 2016: Poland 1-0 Northern Ireland - how the players rated

Northern Ireland began their Euro 2016 campaign with a 1-0 defeat against Poland in Group C in Nice, and must now regroup before facing Ukraine on Thursday.

Did all the players do enough to keep their place in Michael O'Neill's team? Or is anyone in danger of dropping to the bench in Lyon?

BBC Sport's Lyle Jackson rates the players as Northern Ireland made a first appearance at a major tournament for 30 years:

Michael McGovern (goalkeeper) 7

Was called into action late in the first half, doing well to beat away a strong shot by Bartosz Kapustka, and couldn't fault him on Arkadiusz Milik's goal. Hasn't conceded more than one goal in any of his 12 appearances.

Conor McLaughlin (right-back) 6

Deserves a lot of credit for making the leap from League One with Fleetwood Town to playing on the Euro 2016 stage. Many did not expect him to start, but he justified his inclusion.

Gareth McAuley (centre-back) 7

Played his part in an impressive Northern Ireland defensive display, which blunted the threat posed by Europe's leading marksman, Robert Lewandowski. An ever-present in qualifying, he didn't hide his disappointment at the end.

Craig Cathcart (centre-back) 7

The Watford man also contributed to keeping Lewandowski at bay. Picked up a 69th-minute yellow card for bringing down the Bayern Munich danger man.

Jonny Evans (centre-back) 7

Perhaps the most accomplished of Northern Ireland's defenders, making some important interceptions during a busy opening spell when Poland were piling forward. The 28-year-old's experience in big matches shone through on his 50th appearance.

Shane Ferguson (left-back) 5

Grew into the game after looking exposed in the early stages. Moved out of defence into a deep midfield role after the break but was replaced by substitute Conor Washington.

Oliver Norwood (midfield) 7

Having appeared in every match of Northern Ireland's 12-match unbeaten run, he covered plenty of ground and it would be 10 out of 10 for effort.

Chris Baird (midfield) 6

A solid, unfussy contribution from the experienced Derby County man. Put in a huge shift for the cause, operating just in front of the defensive unit.

Paddy McNair (midfield) 5

Wasn't the young Manchester United player's day as he struggled to see much of the ball. When manager Michael O'Neill opted to change tactics at half-time, McNair was replaced by Stuart Dallas.

Steven Davis (midfield) 7

The one midfielder who always seemed to have time on the ball, even when Northern Ireland were seriously under pressure. He is a class act and almost grabbed an equaliser, just failing to get on the end of Oliver Norwood's clever free-kick late on.

Kyle Lafferty (striker) 6

Showed no signs of the groin injury he had sustained earlier in the week. The lone front man was energetic but suffered from a lack of support as NI failed to mount dangerous attacks.


Stuart Dallas (for McNair 45) 6

Looked good when he came on for McNair at the start of the second half. The Leeds United midfielder may have been disappointed not to start, but has staked a serious claim for inclusion against Ukraine on Thursday.

Conor Washington (for Ferguson 66) 7

Provided overdue support for Lafferty and helped Northern Ireland produce an improved performance in the final quarter of the match. If O'Neill goes with two strikers against Ukraine, expect to see the Queens Park Rangers forward in the starting line-up.

Jamie Ward (for Baird 76) 6

Came on for the last 15 minutes as Northern Ireland attempted to find an equaliser, but didn't manage a telling contribution in the limited time he had.

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