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Worthington backs Healy to rediscover goal touch
Published : 13 Aug 2009 08:37:00Rss feed
Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington has vowed to stand by David Healy through his current barren spell. The province's record scorer failed to find the target for the sixth match running in the 1-1 draw against Israel in a friendly at Windsor Park. Grant McCann made the breakthrough in the 17th minute only for Elyaniv Barta to equalise eight minutes later. Healy has been stuck on 35 goals for months now and was replaced in the 59th minute by Martin Paterson. Worthington, however, offered the Sunderland striker some words of comfort after the game and backed him to rise to the occasion in his country's remaining World Cup qualifiers this autumn. He said: "I am not going to disregard a player of David's quality. He is a prolific goalscorer for Northern Ireland. After him we haven't got one. So because the lad is going through a lean time, as all strikers do, we have to encourage, support and help him. "I would have loved to have seen him score but we have three huge games to come and we all know in that situation he likes to step up to the mark. What better time to get back on the trail? "It is a case of the ball dropping for you and having that sharpness. To be fair to David, he looks better than he did towards the end of last season. He looked like his old self. He was very bright this week and seemed to enjoy his work."