Belfast Telegraph

Brunt hits back at Sanchez Worthy jibe

Chris Brunt has become the latest Northern Ireland player to blast his former international boss Lawrie Sanchez.

Sanchez has been roundly condemned for criticising Northern Ireland boss Nigel Worthington after the 4-1 hammering in Estonia.

With the pain still raw the morning after, the Barnet boss was quick to twist the knife into the Ballymena man, saying he wanted another crack at the job and that Worthington’s time was up.

Pundits and managers were stunned by Sanchez’s opportunistic comments and West Brom’s Gareth McAuley joined the chorus of disapproval when he said: “Lawrie Sanchez was out of order.

“I’ve not seen it but I’ve heard what was said. He walked away from us in the middle of a campaign and supporters might forgive him for that but I don’t know about the players.”

Now West Brom skipper Chris Brunt has added his voice to criticism from the Hawthorns, telling Sanchez to button it.

Brunt said: “It was a fair comment from Gareth. You don’t see too many people jumping in when somebody has got a bad result trying to get them out of a job.

“Lawrie didn’t hang around for too long when the Fulham job came up for him (in 2007).

“He was out like a shot. He should just get on with his own job, which is managing Barnet in League Two.”

Worthington is fighting to hold onto his job as another qualifying campaign seems certain to end in the usual hard luck story.

If the Irish FA go searching for a new man to take the team forward, they are likely to make a call to Shamrock Rovers boss Michael O’Neill rather than to Sanchez.

But Worthington is determined to stay put, saying: “When I came into the job the press was saying ‘you won’t walk away from the job’. My contract runs out on December 31 and until somebody says different, that's the situation. I would love to stay on.”

Northern Ireland face Estonia next Friday night at Windsor Park before concluding their Euro 2012 campaign in Italy the following Tuesday.

Belfast Telegraph

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