But O'Neill defended Christie, stating: "When you play a wing-back role, the first thing people will now ask you is, 'What are the manager's instructions?'.
"Now, it is mostly that they ask the wing-backs to stay very high up the pitch and not worry about coming back.
"I've asked Cyrus about this because the first thing I thought of when Alan Shearer was having a go is, 'He hasn't thought this out'. Maybe that's why he only managed eight games (himself), that might be something to do with it.
"He should have prefaced things by saying, 'I don't know what the manager has said' because, at the end of the day, the manager has asked him to stay up the pitch and not worry about getting back.
"I don't think the severe criticism was warranted, that's my view."