Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland fans let down, but who’s to blame?

By Ian Cahoon

Northern Ireland fans were split last night over who to blame for the team’s total shambles in Tallinn - but all agree that they have been badly let down.

Some punters pointed to the fact that individual errors contributed to our downfall, while others remain unconvinced by boss Nigel Worthington’s negative approach specifically and tenure generally.

Greg Coates, from Carrickfergus, feels there would still have been a slim chance of making Euro 2012 with a win last night.

“We were very disappointing and silly mistakes have ended up costing us the game, the overall emotion is just one of feeling so flat,” said Greg.

“It’s the same old story, especially away from home. We started off pretty well, but a lack of concentration has let us down badly.

“I thought if we had got something from this match we were still in with a chance of qualification, albeit an outside chance.

“I think Estonia were there for the beating, we could and should have got something from the game although key players were missing.

“For me Kyle Lafferty was the biggest player to be missing, when he is in the side you always have a bit of a chance for a goal I think.

“I’m not a massive fan of Nigel Worthington, but I don’t think you can blame him for the last two results.

“I was quite happy with how he set up the side over the two games, but four mistakes have cost us four goals in those two games.”

Larne man John Workman however is no doubt — it’s time for the boss to go.

He said: “Horrendous and disgraceful result tonight. Far too many simple unforced errors and it seems as if there was no plan or invention on how to break the home side down. We knew we needed to win and its was a typical poor uninspired away performances.

“Since the arrival of Nigel as the boss we have gradually gone backwards and its evident we are not selecting the best players available; Johnny Gorman, Josh McQuoid, Corry Evans are all not good enough when there are players like Ivan Sproule, Dean Shiels and Jeff Hughes at Notts County not being chosen.

“I think at the end of the campaign it would be dignified if Mr Worthington just chose himself to walk away instead of the IFA hopefully showing him the door”

Neil Brown agrees that the manager needs to be considering his future.

Neil adds: “Yes the goals came from individual errors and yes Nigel Worthington can’t be blamed directly for those, but he is held ultimately responsible for what is turning out to be terrible campaign.

“I think the Faroe Islands win is papering over the cracks. We are now one off bottom and I honestly think that’s where we’ll finish.

“The people who say ‘Who else would do better?’ don’t understand why people are so disappointed in Worthington.

“It will be interesting to see who pulls out of next month’s games now we have no chance of qualification.”

Adrian McDowell from Belfast believes it is time to take stock when the campaign ends next month and continue to blood youngsters in the meantime.

“You can’t talk too much about the manager whenever you defend like we did last night,” said Adrian.

“It was mistake after mistake from players we rely on and people who have been so solid in this campaign especially.

“Lee Camp was our man-of-the-match by a mile on Friday night but looked so shaky tonight, especially after his mistake for the second goal.

“Where do we go from here? That’s a hard question to answer. We can’t make massive changes because you can’t go out and sign players and we don’t have the pool to bring them from.

“We need to keep bringing the young lads through gradually.”

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