Worthington looks to youth
Nigel Worthington is going to give young Northern Ireland players a chance to prove themselves.
Last Updated: 04/03/10 11:01pm
Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington is going to give young players a chance to prove themselves ahead of his side's Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.
The Irish Football Association are planning a tour in May, with Turkey and Chile possible opponents.
Worthington's team went down 1-0 to Albania on Wednesday, and he says the youngsters will get the chance to show their worth on the tour.
He said: "There may be a tour in May with a couple of games. If that comes off it will be good.
"We will be going with a very young squad as the older ones will need time off to recuperate with their families and get ready for next season.
"It is not a problem to go with a young group because you do find out things about your youngsters when you are working closely with them.
"You put them into scenarios they are not used to. So there are a lot of plusses."
Meanwhile, Worthington has backed the Irish FA's decision to raise the matter of player eligibility with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
This comes after promising Everton defender Shane Duffy opted to play for the Republic of Ireland after coming through the youth ranks with Northern Ireland, a path also taken by Manchester United's Darron Gibson.
"The association is right and proper in what it is doing (trying to stop players changing their minds) because no one else is looking after us. We have to look after ourselves," he added.
"We produced in Darron Gibson and Shane Duffy, two very good players, who will be around the top end of football for years to come.
"We put in time and effort as an association as have the coaches who worked with them over the years.
"There is a loophole there that has been exploited. That situation needs to be dealt with firmly.
"I find it difficult to understand that a player doesn't want to play for Northern Ireland.
"But good luck to them. I wish them no harm. I will look forward and concentrate on the youngsters coming through.
"Shane Duffy has made his decision with his family, so I respect that. We will wait and see what happens."