Maik Taylor says NI players 'resent' squad withdrawals

Maik Taylor
Taylor says the qualifier in Pescara is likely to be his final Northern Ireland game

Northern Ireland keeper Maik Taylor has said there is "resentment" within the squad at the extent of player withdrawals for international games.

Taylor, 40, made his remarks while commenting on Nigel Worthington's announcement that he is to step down as Northern Ireland manager.

"We all have to take responsibility in some way," said the goalkeeper.

"But a huge amount of responsibility needs to go to those who don't even bother turning up."

The former Birmingham City player added: "I sense there is a lot more resentment among the lads who do turn up and put their necks on the line for the country.

"Some of them are not playing regularly for their clubs and maybe are not quite fit enough but they are still there for every game."

Worthington is stepping down after Tuesday's game in Pescara and the match could also be Taylor's final involvement with the Northern Ireland squad.

He is currently without a club and accepts that the new manager will be looking to bring through other keepers alongside Lee Camp, who is ruled out of Tuesday's qualifier.

"It's probably time to step aside and Campy has come in and done great," said Taylor.

"Should things change down the line and I'm playing regularly, then I'll always be there if the country needs me."

Taylor added that he was "saddened" by the news of Worthington's departure.

"I honestly believe he has given his all," he commented.

"Every time we've come together he's been very open-minded and asked for feedback from the senior players and staff.

"I don't think there's been a stone left unturned."

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