Football: McMenemy rethinks defensive line-up

Northern Ireland 0 Turkey 3

NOT SURPRISINGLY, Lawrie McMenemy is pondering changes to his rearguard for Wednesday's European Championship qualifier against Germany in Dortmund, following Northern Ireland's 3-0 defeat to Turkey here on Saturday.

"We've already starting thinking about it," the under-pressure Northern Ireland manager said. "We've got time between now and Wednesday to get back to what I thought we were at. We have to treat every game as a learning curve and make sure the sort of mistakes we made don't happen again."

It would be harsh to blame McMenemy for the schoolboy errors Northern Ireland made in defence which allowed Arif Erdem to score one of the fastest international hat-tricks. The Irish back-line went walkabout as the Galatasaray striker scored three times in a four-minute spell either side of half- time.

The former defender John O'Neill, who played in the 1982 and 1986 World Cups during Northern Ireland's halcyon days, and reported on the Turkey match for BBC Northern Ireland, believes McMenemy is doing his best with the limited pool of players at his disposal. He asked: "Is anybody going to come in and do a better job?"

Goals: Arif Erdem (45) 0-1; (46) 0-2; (49) 0-3.

NORTHERN IRELAND: Taylor (Fulham); A Hughes (Newcastle), Horlock (Manchester City), Lomas (West Ham), Williams (Watford), Hunter (Reading), McCarthy (Birmingham),

Lennon (Leicester), Dowie (Queen's Park Rangers), M Hughes (Wimbledon), Kennedy (Watford). Substitutes: Gillespie (Blackburn) for McCarthy, 62; Quinn (West Bromwich) for Dowie, 77.

TURKEY: Rustu Recber (Fenerbahce); Ali Eren Beserler (Besiktas), Ogun Temizkanoglu (Fenerbahce), Tayfur Havatcu (Besiktas), Alpay Ozalan (Fenerbahce), Arif Erdem (Galatasaray), Abdullah Ercan (Fenerbahce), Tugay Kerimoglu (Galatasaray), Hakan Sukur (Galatasaray), Sergen Yalcin (Fenerbahce), Tayfun Korkat (Fenerbahce). Substitutes: Hakan Unsal (Galatasaray) for Abdullah Ercan, 75; Okan Buruk (Galatasaray) for Arif Erdem, 79; Umit Karan (Genclerbirligi) for Sergen Yalcin, 90.

Referee: S Bre (France). Bookings: Northern Ireland: Williams, Lomas. Turkey: Abdullah Ercan.

Man of the match: Arif Erdem.

Attendance: 7,270.

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