Northern Ireland boss Worthington spurred on by support

Northern Ireland boss Nigel Worthington has been buoyed by support he has received in the wake of criticism after defeats by Serbia and Estonia.

Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers is among those to have backed Worthington.

"The support I've had professionally in England and Northern Ireland, and from supporters, it has astounded me," said Worthington on Tuesday.

"It gives you backbone, strength and the desire to go and get your teeth into the next two games."

The final two Euro 2012 qualifiers are against Estonia at Windsor Park on 7 October followed by a Precara encounter against Group C leaders Italy four days later.

The 1-0 home defeat by Serbia was followed by a 4-1 loss in Estonia, results which effectively ended Northern Ireland's hopes of making the play-offs.

Worthington declined to comment on critcism from Northern Ireland boss Lawrie Sanchez, who said the "the writing was on the wall" for the current manager.

The Irish FA will have the final say on the future of of Worthington, whose contract expires on 31 December.

When asked if he believed the IFA will renew his contract, Worthington replied "I would hope so".

"I am enjoying the job and there's been more positives in the last four years, but sometimes realism and football don't go together.

"I would love to go and play like Barcelona but I'm afraid we have not got the resources."

Top Stories