Worthy in limbo
DAVID CUFFLEY Former City boss Nigel Worthington is still waiting for his managerial fate to be decided - but admits he would love to take over at Leicester. Twelve days after the final match of the Coca-Cola Championship season, Worthington is no nearer to knowing whether Foxes chairman Milan Mandaric plans to offer him the Walkers Stadium post on a full-time basis, after recruiting him for the last five games of 2006-07 as caretaker manager.
Former City boss Nigel Worthington is still waiting for his managerial fate to be decided - but admits he would love to take over at Leicester.
Twelve days after the final match of the Coca-Cola Championship season, Worthington is no nearer to knowing whether Foxes chairman Milan Mandaric plans to offer him the Walkers Stadium post on a full-time basis, after recruiting him for the last five games of 2006-07 as caretaker manager.
Leicester secured Championship survival during that spell, thanks to 1-0 away wins at Preston and Barnsley, but lost all three home games against Norwich, Birmingham and Wolves.
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“It was very good to get back into it. It's a very good club with great facilities and support and I'm just waiting to see what the chairman decides to do,” said Worthington. “I'm ready to get back into work and looking forward to it. But there's nothing to report at this moment.”
By avoiding relegation, Worthington, assisted by former Norwich right-hand man Doug Livermore, said they had met the chairman's target - escaping the drop into League One.
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“We had to dig in and we managed to achieve the brief we were given to keep the club in the division,” he said.
“It was disappointing not to get a good result in the last game of the season at home to Wolves in front of over 30,000, but that's the way the game goes sometimes. We got the main objective.”
Earlier this week, a spokesman for Leicester said Worthington was on a short list of five for the job.
He said: “Nigel Worthington is on record as having said he would like the job but no decision has yet been made as to the future.
“What I can tell you is that Mr Mandaric has drawn up a short list of five candidates and Nigel Worthington is on the list.”
Neil Warnock, who resigned as Sheffield United boss this week, is the latest name to be added to Mandaric's list of candidates, the chairman admitted last night.
While Leicester keep their options open, Worthington's name has cropped up in connection with another managerial vacancy - Northern Ireland are looking for a new boss after Lawrie Sanchez quit the post to manage Fulham.
Ipswich boss Jim Magilton, Coventry's Iain Dowie and Aberdeen assistant manager Jimmy Nicholl have also been linked with the job, while another former Northern Ireland international, Colin Clarke, has expressed an interest.
Worthington, who won 66 caps for his country and played in the 1986 World Cup, declined to comment on the national team job, other than admitting: “It's something you would always like to do. But it's a bit like the club situation, I'm just waiting to see what happens.”
Worthington has at least one supporter in the Irish ranks - his predecessor at Carrow Road.
“Nigel Worthington would be a fantastic choice,” said Bryan Hamilton, who managed Northern Ireland from 1994 and 1998.
The Irish FA say they will take at least six weeks before naming Sanchez's successor.
IFA president Jim Boyce said: “We are now in the best position we have ever been to qualify for the European Championships.
“We will sit down and analyse all the various candidates. But I cannot see anything being done until the end of June, the beginning of July.
“I know there are many people who would love this job but we have to realise our next game is not until August.
“It is vitally important we take our time and get the right man for the job, someone the players will respect.”