Select a Team

Prev Game: European Championship Qualifying Mon 7th Sep

prev game - Northern Ireland
team 1 score team 2
N Ireland 1 - 1 Hungary

Next Game: European Championship Qualifying Thu 8th Oct

next game - Northern Ireland
team 1 score team 2
N Ireland 19:45 Greece

Players rally round Worthington

Hughes and Davis feel players must take blame for poor displays

Last Updated: 07/09/11 5:15pm

  • Share:

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Senior members of the Northern Ireland squad believe it should be the players, not the manager, shouldering the blame for recent poor performances.

Back-to-back defeats in two crucial Euro 2012 qualifiers over the last week have rocked confidence in the camp and led to widespread criticism from afar.

A 1-0 setback against Serbia on home soil was followed by a morale-sapping 4-1 reversal in Estonia on Tuesday, with the country's hopes of reaching next summer's European Championships now all but over.

Individual errors cost Northern Ireland dear in both of their recent outings, with Steven Davis, Lee Camp and Gareth McAuley enduring games to forget.

It is, however, national coach Nigel Worthington who is feeling the heat, with pressure mounting on his shoulders.

With his contract set to expire at the end of the current campaign, it is looking increasingly unlikely that he will be offered an extension.

His players have been quick to rally round him, though, with captain Aaron Hughes of the opinion that the critics should be pointing the finger elsewhere.


He said: "It's a massive disappointment.

"At the start of the week we were looking forward to two massive games with a chance of qualifying. Unfortunately it hasn't panned out that way.

"Personally, I think the criticism (of Worthington) can be unfair - we don't set out to be negative.

"At times I actually thought we were the better team, but mistakes cost us and we all have to take responsibility for that."

Rangers midfielder Davis echoed the sentiments of his skipper, saying: "Nigel is just as deflated as the rest of us.

"It's disappointing for all of us. Over the last couple of games individual errors have cost us and realistically we had to come here (Estonia) and win. It's over.

"But of course we're professionals and we'll have to pick ourselves back up but it's demoralising and right now that's just the way we feel."

  • Share:


Related Profiles

Most Popular


How should England line-up?

How should England line-up?

Stuart Pearce and Alan Curbishley have picked their England XI for the game with Estonia next Friday. Do you agree?

Crossing international borders

Crossing international borders

Jack Grealish has committed to England having played for Republic of Ireland at youth level. But who else has crossed international borders?

Rise of Dele Alli

Rise of Dele Alli

Tracking the rise of England new boy Dele Alli with the help of those who know him best.