Belfast Telegraph

Worthy to sign on

We're making plans with Nigel, say IFA

By Stuart McKinley

Irish FA chief executive Howard Wells is confident that Nigel Worthington will sign up to lead his country into the 2010 World Cup campaign.

Both men are at the centre of 'will he? won't he?' debates at the minute, with each having contract offers on the table to stay on in their respective posts at Windsor Avenue.

While elected members at the IFA expect Wells to continue in his job, Worthington's future doesn't appear to be quite so clear cut.

His initial six-match contract expired after the final Euro 2008 qualifying game away to Spain, which is now almost six weeks ago.

Negotiations over a two-year deal for the 66-times capped full-back to remain Northern Ireland manager have gone on a lot longer than the association would have liked.

Indeed they had hoped to have a deal tied up some three weeks ago.

The delay has led to speculation amongst fans that Worthington is biding his time with the possibility of a club job coming up over the Christmas and New Year period.

Wells, however, believes that by the time his own situation is sorted out when business gets up and running again in two weeks time after the festive break, the managerial situation will be completed as well.

" There is nothing further to say regarding Nigel Worthington at present," said Wells.

"It is an issue that is not resolved, but we will resolve it.

"When there is something to say then we'll say it, but until then there is no point in talking about it day-by-day."

While there are no competitive internationals until next September, the IFA would prefer to have a manager in place - and Worthington is the man they want - before next month's meeting to arrange the 2010 qualifying fixtures.

Belfast Telegraph


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