Worthington quits Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington has handed his notice into the Irish Football Association, meaning that the game against Italy on Tuesday night will be his last in charge.

The former Norwich boss succeeded Lawrie Sanchez in the Windsor Park hotseat back in June 2007, but with poor results of late has decided to call time on his tenure.

“I have had four-and-a-half fantastic years working with the Irish Football Association and a lot of hard work has been put in by many people over this time to help improve Northern Ireland football,” he said in a statement released to the IFA’s official website.

“I feel it is only right to give the Association and players the opportunity and time to move forward and that is why I have decided that Tuesday night’s game will be my last in charge.

“It has been a pleasure and I would like to wish the Irish Football Association all the best for the future; and to the supporters who have been fantastic throughout.

“I understand their frustration over the last three games; but when you look at the incident in the Serbia game and the game away to Estonia, and then the game at home against Estonia, this is the fine line in football,” he concluded.

A 2-1 home defeat against Estonia on Friday night was the last straw, and the nation will now look for a new man to lead them into the next World Cup qualifiers.

By Gareth McKnight