Belfast Telegraph

At last Worthy deal is done: Kennedy

Now he MUST take us to World Cup finals

By Steven Beacom

It's been a long time coming but Irish FA President Raymond Kennedy today revealed that Nigel Worthington will sign a new contract this week to continue as Northern Ireland manager.

The Green and White Army have become increasingly frustrated over recent weeks at what they have seen as a lack of progress in negotiations between the IFA and Worthington's representatives.

But, according to Kennedy, both parties are ready to conclude the process with Worthington landing a new two year deal, which will allow him to guide Northern Ireland in the World Cup qualifying campaign.

Worthington, as stated in this newspaper in December, will receive the best contract in Irish FA history with some suggestions that his package could be worth up to £300,000 per year!

He will be joined by backroom boys Glynn Snodin and Fred Barber, who worked alongside Worthington when he was appointed as Lawrie Sanchez's successor on a six month contract last summer.

Worthington didn't take Northern Ireland to the Euro 2008 finals, but the IFA fully expect him to come out of a group containing the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia and San Marino and make the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.

"Over the next couple of days I expect everything to be concluded with Nigel and his backroom team in place in a two year deal," IFA President Kennedy told The Belfast Telegraph.

"Negotiations have taken time but the outcome will be positive.

" Nigel came in at a difficult time and the players seem happy enough with him and his staff and so are we.

"Now we must look forward to the World Cup qualifying campaign. I'd be disappointed if we didn't qualify for the finals as the top team in our group or at the very least earn a play-off position.

"Lawrie built the foundation for success and now Nigel must keep the momentum going."

Belfast Telegraph


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