Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 April 2014

In Pictures: 10 things new Northern Ireland manager must do

1. Get the Green and White Army behind you right away
It didn't take long for Nigel Worthington to frustrate the fans. In only his second game in charge back in 2007 he dropped defender Stephen Craigan, who had played in all the major wins in the few years before. Result: a defeat in Latvia.
Four days later, incredibly Craigan was excluded from the side again. Result: a defeat in Iceland.
With those two losses went any chance that Northern Ireland had of qualifying for the Euro 2008 finals - a dream that had looked a reality when Northern Ireland moved top of their qualifying group midway through the campaign.
I'm not sure Nigel ever recovered from that disappointment with many supporters.
In recent months the anger of the fans towards the boss was evident. The new man will have to get the Green and White Army on his side right from the start by talking positively about how he is going to restore the pride, passion and belief in the team.
That will appeal and then it’s a case of getting a few positive results in the first friendlies.

Irish FA bigwigs will meet in the coming weeks to decide who to target as Nigel Worthington’s successor.

Sure to come up in the conversation will be Martin O’Neill, Michael O’Neill, Jim Magilton and Iain Dowie, who all served their country with distinction as players in the past. It will take a lot of work though, as outlined here.

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