Worthington: No future for cup

28 May 2011 08:00

Northern Ireland boss Nigel Worthington believes the Carling Nations Cup is doomed after the failure of the current competition to catch light.

Worthington's side were condemned to last place in the inaugural edition of the four nations tournament after a 2-0 defeat to Wales in front of an official crowd of just 2,100 at Dublin's Aviva Stadium on Friday night.

It has been a miserable event for Northern Ireland, who have lost all three games and conceded 10 goals in the process, without scoring themselves and when asked if the concept had a future, Worthington said: "Not for me, and the fact I didn't win any games is irrelevant."

He added: "I would like those three international dates for friendlies I want to play, for the style of our qualifiers."

Worthington felt his youthful side acquitted themselves well against a far more experienced Wales team.

Wales dominated and secured Gary Speed's first victory as manager with goals from captain Aaron Ramsey and substitute Rob Earnshaw, but Worthington saw positives for his team.

He said: "I thought it was our best performance of the competition with a very young team. It was more like what we were about. To play against Ramsey and (Craig) Bellamy is a great experience."

Speed, meanwhile, has been disappointed with a schedule that forced his side to play twice in the space of 48 hours.

The former Wales captain said: "I'm pleased that we won the game, pleased with the performance in parts and frustrated in others.

"But hopefully we can learn from that. It's one step. It's been a difficult week in terms of planning and preparing but that is what you have to deal with. It was a good test."

Source: PA