Worthy keeps his options open

Former Canaries manager Nigel Worthington took over as manager of Northern Ireland yesterday - then insisted it did not mean he had shelved his ambition to return to club management.

Former Canaries manager Nigel Worthington took over as manager of Northern Ireland yesterday - then insisted it did not mean he had shelved his ambition to return to club management.

After accepting a short-term contract to succeed Lawrie Sanchez, Worthington said he had not ruled out the possibility of a job-share deal if the opportunity arises.

“I would love to do club management and the IFA know that,” said the man who won 66 Northern Ireland caps during his playing career. “I am fully committed to the Northern Ireland national team for the next six games no matter what happens.

“If all goes well then we can look at it further and if it doesn't we can go our separate ways. But I am young enough and I have got the energy and the drive to want to do club management.”


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Worthington believes leading Northern Ireland to qualification from their Euro 2008 qualifying group would eclipse the success of the teams he helped reach two consecutive World Cup finals in the 1980s.

“I don't mean this disrespectfully but in those days we had top division players and at the moment we have got a handful of Premiership players and a lot of Championship players.

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“But they have got big hearts and with that never-say-die attitude anything is possible.

“There seems to be a desire back in the green shirt and to me that was a key reason for taking the job.”

Southampton first-team coach Glynn Snodin has been named as his assistant along with Bolton goalkeeping coach Fred Barber.

“I am very proud to be taking this role because when your country comes calling in such circumstances you look forward to the task,” added Worthington. “There was not much selling to do.”

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