NI boss Nigel Worthington unhappy with refereeing decision

NI players confront the referee
Northern Ireland players confront the referee after Estonia's controversial winner

Northern Ireland boss Nigel Worthington criticised the controversial refereeing decision which cost his side a point as they lost 2-1 in their Euro 2012 Group C qualifying match against Estonia.

Manuel Grafe waved play on after one of his assistants had flagged for offside.

"I saw the linesman's flag go up and I, like the players, thought the decision had been given," said Worthington.

"It's harsh, it's disappointing, but some things you can't control. As for the future, we'll see what happens."

The outcome was particularly galling for Worthington since his side impressed in the first period.

"I thought we played exceptionally well in the first half - we passed the ball well and got men forward," he added.

"Estonia came back at us in the second half but our commitment and effort throughout was first class."

Northern Ireland goalscorer Steven Davis said he was "frustrated" after his side threw away a one-goal advantage.

"Sometimes you get these decisions, sometimes you don't," said the midfielder.

"I thought the guy was offside and the linesman probably had a better view of it - from that point of view it's perhaps a strange decision by the referee.

"I'm proud to have led the team, to have scored and to have won my 50th cap, but I'm disappointed with the defeat.

"We restored some pride in the first half but maybe lost our shape a bit in the second half."

The Rangers midfielder offered his support to under-fire manager Worthington.

"The players enjoy working with Nigel, but the fans pay their money and have a right to their say as well," he commented.

"Ultimately it will be down to the IFA [Irish Football Association] to make a decision on the manager's future, but the players will give 100% against Italy on Tuesday."

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