MX23RW : Monday, September 24 10:26:45

Nigel Worthington full of praise for Northern Ireland performance

Worthington hails N.Ireland youngsters
© PA Photos
Nigel Worthington praises his team after his last match in charge as Northern Ireland manager.

Nigel Worthington has hailed the performance of the Northern Ireland youngsters despite suffering defeat at the hands of Italy.

The 49-year-old, who coached his final game for the international side last night, believes that the team were "fantastic" despite losing 3-0 to Italy in the Euro 2012 qualifier.

"They were fantastic, the energy they expended against an excellent side," Sky Sports News quotes Worthington as saying.

"There were many youngsters out there, we had seven senior players missing and they put a real shift in.

"I'm very proud of them, the group of youngsters we've got is really strong, and one thing with youngsters is you've got to give them time to mature."

Meanwhile, the likes of Gerry Armstrong and Iain Dowie have been linked with the Northern Ireland managerial vacancy.

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