Release Date: 18/01/2008
Author: By Gareth Steen
NIGEL Worthington was today reappointed as manager of the Northern Ireland International team.
The former Norwich and Leicester City boss was delighted to have signed a two-year contract with the Irish FA and is now looking to build on the team's recent successes and to take the country forward.
“I am absolutely delighted and thrilled that a two-year contract has been agreed with the IFA, I am now looking forward to getting to work and more importantly working with the players on a full-time basis, that is something that I really want to get down to,” he said.
“The Irish FA who I have worked with over the last six months has seen many changes since I was a player to the period it was at pre-Christmas, we are forward thinking and I want to be a part of that.
“I want to try and take it on further if I can with the help of the IFA and to do this it will take a lot of commitment and a lot of effort but if we are all pulling in the same direction then moving forward can be a way to success and that is something I would like to happen for my country.”
The former Sheffield Wednesday defender is delighted for the fans that he has remained the manager and he insists he is totally committed to the job where he hopes to continue the recent performances in the World Cup qualifying campaign.
“As far as the fans are concerned as always, home and away, as I said prior to the Denmark game they can be our 12th man. I am delighted for them the situation has been resolved - the one thing that I can promise the supporters is that they will always get 110 per cent commitment from myself and the players will do the same, and hopefully with that recipe again we can have a successful run in the World Cup Qualifiers,” he said.
Nigel stressed the importance of developing the country’s young talent and believes if everyone can continue to keep up the good work then we will continue to see talented young players in the senior squad like we have in the present first team.
“As far as the development in the young players is concerned, not only in the Province but those people moving to England, that is something that we have got to continue to work on. It is very important that there are young players coming through and as we can see the system is working, because at this time there is a nice crop of young players in the senior team which I think is very healthy and very good for the future. So that is something as an Association, manager and coaches, we have got to continue to work very, very hard at,” he said.
The Ballymena man believes these are exciting times for Northern Ireland football and that if we can keep up our excellent home form and improve on away results then we are capable of qualification for South Africa 2010.
“These are exciting times, a time of change; we had an excellent European campaign last time around where the players as a unit performed very well. Again we are coming up to a very difficult group for the World Cup but one that we can make tough for the opposition as well and that is something we are aiming to do. Obviously Poland and Czech Republic are hot favourites for top spot at this moment in time. However, we have always been capable of throwing a spanner in the works and if we look after our own results home and away, I stress away because that is something that we have really got to concentrate on along with keeping the results at home as they have been.
“So I am looking forward to the challenge and let us hope between us all that we can enjoy it; move forward and be successful,” added Nigel.
Irish FA President, Raymond Kennedy added that everyone is delighted with the reappointment of Nigel and he has no doubts that he is the right man to meet the challenge and take us forward.
“As president of the Irish FA I am delighted that we have been able to reappoint Nigel as the manager of our International team, it is also important that we have retained the backroom staff of Glynn Snodin and Fred Barber,” he said.
“Nigel is a very experienced coach and I have no doubt that he will be able to take us forward in the World Cup qualifying campaign.
“He will meet the challenge head on and also I think he will build on our past experiences, he also has a good relationship with the squad. Nigel is a gentleman who has passion and has pride and I believe that we have made an excellent appointment,” added the President.
Picture: Spike Hill
President Kennedy and Chief Executive Wells give the thumbs up to the reappointment of Nigel Worthington at the press conference.
Picture: Spike Hill
Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington stops the traffic on the Malone Road after today's press conference.
Picture: Spike Hill
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