Nigel Worthington has ordered his Northern Ireland players to take some of the goalscoring heat off David Healy.
The Sunderland new boy became the record scorer in a European Championship qualifying campaign when he netted 13 goals against the likes of Spain, Sweden and Denmark but now his manager wants other players to find the net.
Worthington, who yesterday drafted Partick Thistle goalkeeper Jonathan Tuffey into his squad for the games against Slovakia on Saturday week and Czech Republic the following Wednesday, says Healy is carrying too heavy a goalscoring burden on his shoulders.
“Football is a team game and I want all my outfield players to score goals,” said Worthington.
“The defenders will come up for set pieces and I hope they can get on the end of a good cross and hurt the opposition.
“The midfielders are also capable of scoring and while we want David’s phenomenal form to continue it is important that we do well as a team and I will be preaching the need for us to score goals from all over the park.
“Hopefully the other lads can take the pressure off David and if they can do that our goals tally should look a lot better.
“When the little man is representing his country he is on fire and nine times out of 10 he will put the ball in the net but he’ll be happy if others score too. Let’s be positive and go for goals.”