Belfast Telegraph

Friday 21 November 2014

Worthy waits on Northern Ireland's weary stars

Nigel Worthington will examine the health of his squad before naming the team to face Chile on Sunday night.

After facing Turkey in temperatures of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit on Wednesday, the 17-man squad embarked on a 5,000 mile flight from New York to Santiago yesterday and, with a stop-off in Peru, on the way the total journey time was running into some 18-hours.

Only goalkeeper Michael McGovern didn’t appear against the Turks, as Worthington handed out six new caps. All 17 can expect to see action on Sunday.

“It's down to the recovery from the game because without a doubt it's taken a lot out of the players,” he said.

“So it's their recovery. We'll give them a bit of down time on Thursday afternoon and evening and then get ready again for Sunday.

“All the players will get some football. We'd love to win games and score goals so we'll go with what we think will give us a good, steady start and look at it from there. There were no knocks, just tired minds and bodies.”

The performance of 17-year-old Johnny Gorman caught the eye, as did 20-year-old Michael Bryan, who replaced him for the final 20 minutes.

“It's a development group, we're looking at people. The two youngsters Gorman and Bryan, I've been very pleased with their input in their first time out and it's a good exercise, I'm very pleased with it,” said Worthington.

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