Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

No support for Nigel Worthington as Northern Ireland fans vote with their feet

©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 7th Octobner 2011 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Euro 2012 qualifying Group C - Northern Ireland v Estonia at Windsor Park in Belfast. Northern Ireland fans pictured during the match.
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland- 07th October 2011 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/PresseyeEuro 2012 qualifier - Northern Ireland v EstoniaNorthern Ireland's Lee Hodson with Estonia's Martin Vunk during Friday nights Euro 2012 qualifier against Estonia at Windsor Park.
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland- 07th October 2011 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/PresseyeEuro 2012 qualifier - Northern Ireland v EstoniaNorthern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington after Friday nights Euro 2012 qualifier against Estonia at Windsor Park.
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland- 07th October 2011 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/PresseyeEuro 2012 qualifier - Northern Ireland v Estonia Estonia's Konstantin Vassiljev scores a penalty during Friday nights Euro 2012 qualifier against Estonia at Windsor Park.
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland-7th October 2011 Credit - Picture by Russell Pritchard/Presseye.comEuro 2012 qualifying Group C - Northern Ireland v Estonia at Windsor Park, BelfastN.Irelands Grant McCann and Estonias Andrei Stepanovin action at Friday nights Euro 2012 Qualifier match at Windsor Park.©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland- 07th October 2011 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/PresseyeEuro 2012 qualifier - Northern Ireland v EstoniaNorthern Ireland's Chris Baird with Estonia's Dmitri Kruglov during Friday nights Euro 2012 qualifier against Estonia at Windsor Park.
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland- 07th October 2011 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/PresseyeEuro 2012 qualifier - Northern Ireland v EstoniaNorthern Ireland's David Healy is dejected after being defeated by Estonia in Friday nights Euro 2012 qualifier at Windsor Park.
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland- 07th October 2011 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/PresseyeEuro 2012 qualifier - Northern Ireland v EstoniaNorthern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington during Friday nights Euro 2012 qualifier against Estonia at Windsor Park.
Northern Ireland Manger Nigel Worthington during the Euro 2012 Group C Qualifying match at Windsor Park, Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday October 7, 2011. See PA Story: SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Paul Faith/PA Wire.
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland-7th October 2011 Credit - Picture by Russell Pritchard/Presseye.comEuro 2012 qualifying Group C - Northern Ireland v Estonia at Windsor Park, BelfastEstonias Konstantin Vassiljev celebrates his second goal at Friday nights Euro 2012 Qualifier match at Windsor Park.©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 7th Octobner 2011 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Euro 2012 qualifying Group C - Northern Ireland v Estonia at Windsor Park in Belfast. Northern Ireland fans pictured during the match.
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 7th Octobner 2011 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Euro 2012 qualifying Group C - Northern Ireland v Estonia at Windsor Park in Belfast. Northern Ireland fans pictured during the match.
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 7th Octobner 2011 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Euro 2012 qualifying Group C - Northern Ireland v Estonia at Windsor Park in Belfast. Northern Ireland's Steven Davis(right) celebrates with teammate Pat McCourt after he scores to make it 1-0.
@Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland-7th October 2011Mandatory Credit-Picture by Brian Little/Presseye.comEuro 2012 Qualifying matchNorthern Ireland's ÊChris Brunt and Estonia's Ragnar Klavan during Friday night's Euro 2012 Qualfying match at Windsor Park, Belfast.
@Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland-7th October 2011Mandatory Credit-Picture by Brian Little/Presseye.comEuro 2012 Qualifying matchNorthern Ireland's ÊCorry Evans and Estonia's Andrei Stepanov during Friday night's Euro 2012 Qualfying match at Windsor Park, Belfast.
@Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland-7th October 2011Mandatory Credit-Picture by Brian Little/Presseye.comEuro 2012 Qualifying matchNorthern Ireland's Steven Davis and Estonia's Alexsandr Dmitrijev during Friday night's Euro 2012 Qualfying match at Windsor Park, Belfast.
@Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland-7th October 2011Mandatory Credit-Picture by Brian Little/Presseye.comEuro 2012 Qualifying matchNorthern Ireland's Pat McCourt and Estonia's Ragnar Klavan during Friday night's Euro 2012 Qualfying match at Windsor Park, Belfast.
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland-7th October 2011 Credit - Picture by Russell Pritchard/Presseye.comEuro 2012 qualifying Group C - Northern Ireland v Estonia at Windsor Park, BelfastN.Irelands Gareth McAuley gets a yellow card at Friday nights Euro 2012 Qualifier match at Windsor Park.©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland-7th October 2011 Credit - Picture by Russell Pritchard/Presseye.comEuro 2012 qualifying Group C - Northern Ireland v Estonia at Windsor Park, BelfastN.Irelands Cory Evans and Estonias Sergei Pareiko in action at Friday nights Euro 2012 Qualifier match at Windsor Park.©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland- 07th October 2011 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/PresseyeEuro 2012 qualifier - Northern Ireland v EstoniaNorthern Ireland's David Healy is dejected after being defeated by Estonia in Friday nights Euro 2012 qualifier at Windsor Park.
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland- 07th October 2011 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/PresseyeEuro 2012 qualifier - Northern Ireland v EstoniaNorthern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington after Friday nights Euro 2012 qualifier against Estonia at Windsor Park.
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland-7th October 2011 Credit - Picture by Russell Pritchard/Presseye.comEuro 2012 qualifying Group C - Northern Ireland v Estonia at Windsor Park, BelfastN.Irelands Kyle Lafferty and Estonias Raio Piiroja in action at Friday nights Euro 2012 Qualifier match at Windsor Park.©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland- 07th October 2011 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/PresseyeEuro 2012 qualifier - Northern Ireland v EstoniaNorthern Ireland's Gareth McAuley is dejected after being defeated by Estonia in Friday nights Euro 2012 qualifier at Windsor Park.
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland- 07th October 2011 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/PresseyeEuro 2012 qualifier - Northern Ireland v EstoniaNorthern Ireland's Craig Cathcart during Friday nights Euro 2012 qualifier against Estonia at Windsor Park.
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland-7th October 2011 Credit - Picture by Russell Pritchard/Presseye.comEuro 2012 qualifying Group C - Northern Ireland v Estonia at Windsor Park, BelfastN.Irelands Grant McCann and Estonias leksander Dmitrijev in action at Friday nights Euro 2012 Qualifier match at Windsor Park.©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland-7th October 2011 Credit - Picture by Russell Pritchard/Presseye.comEuro 2012 qualifying Group C - Northern Ireland v Estonia at Windsor Park, BelfastEstonias Konstantin Vassiljev celebrates his second goal at Friday nights Euro 2012 Qualifier match at Windsor Park.©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland-7th October 2011 Credit - Picture by Russell Pritchard/Presseye.comEuro 2012 qualifying Group C - Northern Ireland v Estonia at Windsor Park, BelfastEstonias Konstantin Vassiljev celebrates his second goal at Friday nights Euro 2012 Qualifier match at Windsor Park.©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland- 07th October 2011 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/PresseyeEuro 2012 qualifier - Northern Ireland v EstoniaNorthern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington during Friday nights Euro 2012 qualifier against Estonia at Windsor Park.
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland- 07th October 2011 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/PresseyeEuro 2012 qualifier - Northern Ireland v EstoniaNorthern Ireland's Corry Evans with Estonia's Andrei Stepanov during Friday nights Euro 2012 qualifier against Estonia at Windsor Park.
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland-7th October 2011 Credit - Picture by Russell Pritchard/Presseye.comEuro 2012 qualifying Group C - Northern Ireland v Estonia at Windsor Park, BelfastN.Irelands Kyle Lafferty and Estonias Aleksander Dmitrijev in action at Friday nights Euro 2012 Qualifier match at Windsor Park.©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland- 07th October 2011 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/PresseyeEuro 2012 qualifier - Northern Ireland v EstoniaNorthern Ireland's Craig Cathcart during Friday nights Euro 2012 qualifier against Estonia at Windsor Park.
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland-7th October 2011 Credit - Picture by Russell Pritchard/Presseye.comEuro 2012 qualifying Group C - Northern Ireland v Estonia at Windsor Park, BelfastN.Irelands Grant McCann and Estonias leksander Dmitrijev in action at Friday nights Euro 2012 Qualifier match at Windsor Park.©Russell Pritchard / Presseye

Trudging out of Windsor last night Northern Ireland fans reflected on a final home game which reflected the overall campaign - a bright start but ultimately disappointing.

There was a strangely subdued atmosphere inside the old ground ahead of the encounter last night and with many fans looking to sell on their tickets in the build-up it was no surprise to see dozens of empty seats in all four stands.

A low-key encounter did little to change the mood once the game had kicked off and the normally raucous Kop was unusually muted.

Chants of 'Nigel, Nigel time to go' greeted the full-time whistle, which were alongside banners in the old Railway stand, one of which read: 'Taxi For Nigel'.

Steven Massey, though reflected on the decision by the referee to allow the winning goal to stand despite the linesman putting up his flag for offside. He said: "I can't believe we had a referee who was as bad as that, for an international ref he was shocking. The linesman had his flag up and he just ignored it and the players stopped.

"Maybe it's time to give Irish League players their chance, players from Linfield, Glentoran and Cliftonville who could do a job. The time has probably come for a change in management when the campaign comes to an end."

Jamie McGuinness, from Belfast, was disappointed in Worthington's players as much as the manager.

"The first half I thought we did ok, but the referee ruined the game with that second goal for Estonia,"Jamie said.

"In the second half we sat back too much and we just can't afford to do that we need to be going at teams if we're going to get any job.

"I was a bit disappointed in our attacking players like Kyle Lafferty. Paddy McCourt didn't do too much, but you can't expect him to do it every match.

"I feel sorry for Nigel but it's probably time for him to go now and let someone else have their chance."

Coleraine man Andy Gillan agrees: "From looking to be in control at the break we are now left looking back at another embarrassing defeat. We sat back and constantly invited pressure on to ourselves and in the end we got what we deserved.

"No doubt Nigel will look at the positives but for me a change of manager is needed if we are going to halt this slump."

Should Worthington be given a new deal? Not according to Belfast fan Gary Davidson.

"£35 to watch that? No thanks! People are starting to vote with their feet and if those sort of prices are there for the next campaign they'll never sell out," he said.

"It may have been the last home game and nothing really to play for but we had a very strong side out there and didn't deliver. I feel Nigel Worthington is an honest guy doing his best but for the sake of everyone surely he has to call it a day.

"He has had more than four years and he's made good changes at grassroots but if the senior side aren't getting results then what's the point? It's just not good enough and it's time for someone else to have a go."

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