Belfast Telegraph

Come and get me, Dowie tells IFA

Iain Dowie has issued a ‘come and get me’ plea to the Irish Football Association.

The former Southampton and West Ham goal-getter was a popular Northern Ireland frontman from 1990 to 2000 and he would relish the chance to guide the country to a major finals.

Dowie will be on many supporters’ wish-list as the search gets under way to replace Nigel Worthington who bids farewell to the players after the Italy game tonight.

Although an Englishman, he earned 59 Northern Ireland caps, netted 12 goals and also donned the armband saying: “The proudest moment of my career was captaining my country.”

Dowie, who had spells in charge of Oldham Athletic, Crystal Palace, Charlton Athletic, Coventry City, Queens Park Rangers and Hull City, is currently a familiar face on Sky Sports.

The 46-year-old said: “I had a fantastic relationship with the Green and White Army, they were amazing.

“I feel my CV stands up to scrutiny and I'm always happy to help. I played for Northern Ireland and I would never turn my back on them. I would be happy to have a conversation with them (the Irish FA).”

He added: “I’m really enjoying what I’m doing but with regard to getting back into the game every box has got to be ticked.

“The most important thing is that Northern Ireland becomes a successful nation again. The country has got an amazing passion and we’ve got to tap into that.

“If we can rediscover that passion we can climb up the Fifa rankings. If we were to qualify for a finals it would make us a more viable proposition going forward.

“Nigel (Worthington) has been hindered because the player base has not been big enough. We need to expand that and that comes with success. We must be competitive in the qualifying campaigns but there are young players there who need time to develop.”

Meanwhile, Sammy McIlroy who managed Northern Ireland between 2002 and 2005 says he would like another crack at the job.

The former Manchester United midfielder said: “I think that they definitely need someone with experience. Someone that has been in the game quite a long time.

“I'd crawl back if given the opportunity.”

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