Baptism of fire for Worthy
PUBLISHED: 10:07 12 April 2007 | UPDATED: 10:14 14 September 2010
Former Norwich City boss Nigel Worthington has made a sensational return to football with Leicester City - and his first task is to put one over his ex-employers.
Former Norwich City boss Nigel Worthington made a sensational return to football yesterday with Leicester City - and his first task is to put one over his ex-employers.
Worthington was revealed as the new manager of the Foxes until the end of the season, after Rob Kelly was sacked by chairman Milan Mandaric after going eight games without a win.
And by a quirk in the fixture list, Worthington's first task at the Walkers Stadium will be to mastermind victory over Peter Grant's Norwich side when the pair face each other on Saturday.
The Northern Irishman has been joined by Doug Livermore as his assistant to try and steer Leicester away from the Championship relegation zone.
The Foxes currently sit in 19th position, perilously close to the relegation zone, and Worthington will certainly be looking to get the three points against the Canaries.
However, he admitted it will be strange facing his former side in his first match.
“It's bizarre how it's worked out but that's the game of football,” he said. “It certainly adds some spice to the game but we will be looking to get off to a good start - but it won't be easy.
“We have to make sure we've got some fire in our bellies come 3pm and wear that blue and white shirt with great pride.”
Canaries chairman Roger Munby said he is very pleased to see Worthington back in football and is looking forward to seeing him at the weekend.
“I think it's a very good move for him,” he said. “I'm delighted to hear the news and I think he will do a really good job for them.”
Worthington had been linked with a number of Championship posts since his departure from Carrow Road in October but revealed to the Evening News in March that he would probably have to wait until the end of the season to get back into football.
However, when Mandaric came offering to what amounts to an extended job interview, the opportunity was too good to turn down.
The former Portsmouth owner admitted it had been a difficult decision to sack Kelly but had to act now in the best interests of the football club.
He said: “I have the utmost respect for Rob and his team and the tremendous job he has done in increasingly difficult circumstances over the last 14 months.
“However, the lacklustre and uninspired performance at Plymouth on Easter Monday has drawn me to the conclusion I have to act now.
“I have given Rob and his coaching team undivided loyalty and support since I assumed control of this club two months ago but unfortunately it has not worked.
“I want to make one thing perfectly clear to the tremendous supporters of this football club, who have backed the team unconditionally despite the recent run of unacceptable results and performances.
“I will not allow them to suffer in silence and as the owner and chairman of this club I have a direct responsibility to safeguard the future of Leicester City and take the appropriate action to ensure that happens.
“I have taken a decision to appoint Nigel Worthington as temporary caretaker manager with immediate effect and Nigel will be joined by Doug Livermore as his assistant.
“They have agreed to take charge for the remaining five games of the season at which time I will review and address the managerial situation.”