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McAuley named NI captain

Nigel Worthington has named Gareth McAuley as Northern Ireland's second captain in five days, but does not anticipate being caught in the same media storm as Fabio Capello.

England manager Capello has faced plenty of questions after deciding to reappoint John Terry as skipper ahead of Rio Ferdinand, before confirming Gareth Barry would lead the side against Ghana. Worthington has a regular captain in the shape of Aaron Hughes but decided to award Chris Baird the honour against Serbia in recognition of his 50th cap.

Hughes dislocated his shoulder in that 2-1 defeat and has been ruled out of the Slovenia match at Windsor Park on Tuesday, with Worthington opting to appoint McAuley for the match. "I don't think there will be a big media hype over it, I hope not anyway, we're not at that level," joked Worthington.

"We've got a fantastic captain when he's fit in Aaron Hughes. He's our captain. Bairdy had it on Friday because of his 50th cap and I've decided to give it to Gareth now.

"But I'm a big believer in having 11 captains out there.

"You don't need an armband to do your job, there are some people who are more vocal and can organise better than others and Gareth is one of them, but each individual has to take the responsibility of helping and encouraging."


From Belfast Telegraph