Doug: It's a funny old game isn't it?
DAVID CUFFLEY Doug Livermore today said he and former Norwich City boss Nigel Worthington would be “giving it everything we've got” in their new roles in charge of Leicester City until the end of the season.
Doug Livermore today said he and former Norwich City boss Nigel Worthington would be “giving it everything we've got” in their new roles in charge of Leicester City until the end of the season.
Worthington, sacked by the Canaries six months ago, and Livermore, who left his post as assistant manager in February “by mutual consent”, have been given the task of steering the Foxes away from the Coca-Cola Championship relegation zone in their last five games of the season.
In one of those wonderful coincidences thrown up in football, their first opponents will be Peter Grant's Canaries at the Walkers Stadium on Saturday.
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Livermore, speaking this morning on the way to his first day at work at Leicester, said: “I am very pleased to have this opportunity at Leicester City until the end of the season and delighted to be working with Nigel.
“It's a fantastic set-up at Leicester and I'm very impressed with the potential here.
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“It came a little bit out of the blue. We had heard rumours, but Nigel got a phonecall from the chairman on Tuesday and it all happened very quickly.
“Nigel has an agreement with Mr Mandaric, the chairman, to the end of the season and we will be giving it everything we've got.”
As for facing Norwich in their first match in charge, the 59-year-old Livermore said: “It's a funny old game, as they say. It's an interesting one and it's one we're looking forward to - a fascinating game.”
Worthington, 45, 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.
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. “I have got great respect for Norwich and I have a wonderful relationship with many people there.
“But my priorities are now with Leicester City. It is important that we get off on the right foot on Saturday.
“A good performance and the right result would be a great platform for us to work from for the remaining games.
“But no matter what the game is or when it is - we have to make sure that when the players are coming off the pitch then it is on their hands and knees. If they do that then Leicester City Football Club will gain the points that they need.”
Worthington admitted that he has had offers from other Championship clubs since his departure from Norwich, but said he “didn't have to think twice” when Mandaric came calling.
“This is a big challenge. I have had other offers to manage in the Championship during the last six months, but I declined those because they weren't right for me at the time. But when this opportunity became available I didn't think twice about it.
“It wasn't a surprise to hear the phone ring - but it was certainly a surprise to hear who was on the end of it.
“The chairman is a man with a lot of passion - not just for this football club but for the game in general.
“It was hard not to say yes to the question that he was asking.
“I am absolutely delighted to be here. I have been to the Walkers Stadium as a manager with Norwich City, and it is an absolutely magnificent venue.”
City boss Grant said today: “The boys here will respect Nigel because of what he did here and rightly so. But it's not about Nigel Worthington or Peter Grant, it's about Norwich City playing Leicester City. The most important thing for me is it's a game of football and every time we represent Norwich City we have to try to win.
“I'm disappointed at Rob Kelly's demise. Since Mandaric took over he's been under incredible pressure and I just feel sorry for him because he's a very good football man.”
City chairman Roger Munby said he was 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 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.”