LEE CAMP NOT GIVING UP ON DREAM
Published on Saturday 3 September 2011 0-1:41
MAN of the match Lee Camp has vowed that Northern Ireland can qualify for Euro 2012 despite last night’s defeat to Serbia.
Camp pulled off some acrobatic magic at Windsor Park to repeatedly frustrate the Serbs and was unlucky to concede when Marko Pantelic intercepted Steve Davis’ misplaced backpass.
But as unlikely as it sounds – nothing short of maximum points in all three remaining games will do – the Nottingham Forest goalkeeper believes that the dream is alive.
“It’s disappointing to have lost but we’ll pick ourselves up and go on to Tuesday,” he said, confident that Estonia are there for the taking in Tallinn.
“Davo just tried to play it back to me, it was held up and the boy nipped in, but these things happen. He gives a lot to the game so he’ll know how to come back from it.”
Camp, who turned 27 last month added: “I did try to go out for it but I’m getting old now, my legs don’t move as fast as they used to!
“But there’s still hope at the end of the tunnel so we’ll be looking to put things right.
“We will be okay, there are big characters in the dressing room and we’ve all been here before.
“We’re professionals and while there’s obviously a bit of disappointment.
“But it’s not over yet and there’s still everything to play for.”
Slovenia fell to a surprise 2-1 defeat at home to Estonia which helps Northern Ireland, and Camp.
“When we came off the pitch and heard that result it did give us a bit of a lift. Estonia are definitely beatable.”
Davis meanwhile was understandably deflated.
“Of course I am disappointed that my mistake led to the goal,” the Rangers midfielder said.
“They’re a good side but I thought we defended really well and the second half we sort of came into it a bit more.
“I knew they were going for a lot of possession and they were throwing a lot of bodies at the ball, and Campy had a great game. He did so well to handle what they threw at them.
“I think the best thing is that we’ve got another game coming up and if you have a bad day at the office then you have to get back into it.
“It’s obvious that we felt the loss of Kyle (Lafferty) and Paddy (McCourt) but we’ll also now miss Jonny and Corry Evans through suspension.”
Manager Nigel Worthington’s message to the team however is clear.
“Nigel has told us to keep our heads up and move on from this and hopefully still be in with a shout.
“We’re all disappointed by the result but we’ll stay focused and the best thing we can do is get a win over in Estonia.”
Chris Baird added: “It is obviously very disappointing, but tonight Slovenia have been beaten as well so there is still a chance.
“There is plenty of football to be played in this group.”