Nigel banishes Northern Ireland Faroes debacle to history books
Forget the Faroes is the message that Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington is sending out to players, fans and everyone else with an interest in Northern Ireland football.
The torture of Toftir, when only Kyle Lafferty’s equaliser saved Northern Ireland from the most embarrassing result in the country’s history, is still fresh in the minds.
Well, it would be, as it was only a month ago and it was the last game the team played.
Worthington is already banishing the shocking result and the dismal performance to the history books as he prepares to face Morocco in a Windsor Park friendly next week.
“The Faroe Islands is gone,” said Worthington.
“Let’s not look back, let’s keep looking forward. We’ve had the disappointment. We’ve come out of there without getting beat. We didn’t win, which was disappointing.
“We’re now playing Morocco and I’d like to win the game, but friendly games can be used for many things. If all goes well hopefully we’ll get a good performance and a lot of good comes from it.”
Fans don’t forget that easily though and realistically the Faroes flop will stick in the throat forever if the two points that were dropped turn out to be the difference between a place in the Euro 2012 finals or staying at home.
Lafferty is expected to lead the attack again against Morocco, with David Healy absent.
Worthington is throwing down a challenge to the Rangers striker to produce the goods on a regular basis.
“Kyle’s probably getting more game time now for Rangers than at any other stage,” said Worthington.
“He’s contributing in terms of creating goals for others and scoring the odd one himself. Against Italy he came on and played very well and was one of our best players against the Faroes over the 90 minutes.
“It’s easy to say things, it’s harder to do them because there’s no doubt that there’s ability in there and there’s yet more to come from him. He’s got to produce it.”
George McCartney is back in the squad after injury, while goalkeeper Maik Taylor will see a specialist today to determine the full extent of an injury to his shoulder. Worthington will stick with Jonny Tuffey and Alan Blayney if Taylor is ruled out.