Belfast Telegraph

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Nigel warns fringe men not to cut their ties

By Paul Ferguson

Passionate Northern Ireland boss Nigel Worthington is amazed any player would consider bringing their international career to a premature end through their own choice.

In recent weeks Leicester City captain Gareth McAuley and Bristol City winger Ivan Sproule both stated they may consider their international futures at the end of this European qualifying campaign.

Both players didn't feature in the away defeats to Latvia and Iceland last month, but McAuley and Sproule are expected to line out tonight in Rasunda Stadium to face Sweden.

Worthington, who won 66 caps for his proud country, admits that he has had no contact from any player wanting to discuss their international futures and says if they are considering it then they should think long and hard.

"I would be shocked if a player decided to retire early from international football," says Worthington.

"To represent your country at any level whether it be player, coach or manager in any way shape or form is a wonderful thing to have under your belt.

"All I would say to whoever is considering bringing an end to their international careers is to keep an open mind because careers go very, very quickly and I would rather have a lot of caps on the table than one or two through frustration or short-sightedness."

Belfast Telegraph

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