Worthington slams stand-ins

10 February 2011 05:00

Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington has warned the players beaten by Scotland on Wednesday night they can have little complaint if not selected next month.

Worthington watched as a patched-up Northern Ireland side surrendered to a limp 3-0 loss in the Carling Nations Cup at Dublin's Aviva Stadium. The Irish were without the likes of Aaron Hughes, Chris Brunt, Kyle Lafferty and Maik Taylor, but Worthington was hoping for a better show from the players taking their place.

He said: "Nobody can say they have not had an opportunity and if and when squads are selected and they are in or not in, there are reasons for that. When you've got that amount of regulars missing you pick basically what you have left."

Worthington was at least pleased with the contributions of youngsters Lee Hodson, Adam Thompson and Liam Boyce, who came off the bench in the second half.

"The young ones who came up, I was very pleased with," Worthington said. "All right the game was coming towards the end and maybe Scotland took their foot off the pedal a bit, but I thought the boys handled themselves very well. It's a good experience for them."

Worthington felt he saw everything he admires in a player in Scotland striker Kenny Miller, who opened the scoring in the 19th minute.

Miller, who recently left Rangers for Bursaspor, was handed the captaincy for the evening in the absence of Darren Fletcher and led the line impressively.

Worthington said: "If you look at Kenny Miller - what a fantastic advert for a professional footballer at the age of 30 or 31.

"If you could bag what that lad has got you would be a very wealthy person because he is an example of how to work hard.

"He has quality, enthusiasm and, above all, what comes through is a love for the game of football. That's huge."

Source: PA