Worthington: We paid for mistakes
Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington admitted his side had paid heavily for the worst defensive display of their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.
After Steven Davis' back pass handed Serbia victory at Windsor Park on Friday, Worthington's side produced a host of even worse errors at the back to slump to a 4-1 defeat in Estonia. It was the heaviest defeat of Worthington's tenure and doubled the number of goals conceded in their previous seven matches.
"It's hugely disappointing because I thought overall we performed pretty well, but we've made more mistakes in our own box than we have over the whole course of the group," he said.
A shocking error from goalkeeper Lee Camp, man of the match against Serbia, and a couple of mistakes by the off-colour Gareth McAuley handed Estonia the points, with only Raio Piroja's own-goal to offer any consolation.
Worthington, whose side now lie fifth in Group C with two games to go, attempted to find positives but could not hide from the self-destructive nature of the defeat.
Worthington added: "We've paid very dear for that. I don't think I have felt more disappointed over the four and a half years I've been in the job. It's three mistakes and three individual errors for the first three goals and we've paid for that.
"They were genuine, honest mistakes, but credit to Estonia they took full advantage. I couldn't believe it but you can't do anything about it. The players are out there doing their best and they don't do it intentionally."
The scale of the defeat to a side 27 places below Northern Ireland in the FIFA rankings, will do Worthington's hopes of staying in his position at the end of his current contract no good but he is happy to take any criticism if it spares his side.
"That's part and parcel of the job and you live with that," he said. "I'll take whatever needs to be taken before the players because they don't deserve it."
Estonia coach Tarmo Ruutli, who was clapped into the press conference by local journalists, has seen his side defeat Serbia and Slovenia on the road and was not shocked by a third win of the campaign. "It wasn't much of a surprise. We have got some very good results already and the home crowd helps us a lot here," he said.