Ex-Owl ignores chopping block

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FORMER Sheffield Wednesday stalwart Nigel Worthington is still enjoying life as Northern Ireland manager, despite a run of results that is likely to deprive him of his job.

Since beating the Faroe Islands 4-0 in August to raise hopes of securing a Euro 2012 play-off place, Worthington’s side have lost to Serbia at home and suffered back-to-back humblings to Estonia. A 4-1 mauling in Tallinn was followed up by a 2-1 reverse at home on Friday. Their final Group fixture is the hardest of all, in Italy tomorrow, and as ever Worthington has less than a full-strength squad to choose from.

With his contract up at the end of the year and no friendlies scheduled until February, it could also be his last. But Worthington refuses to be downbeat.

“Of course there is frustration and I am disappointed by results, but I try to look at the whole picture,” he said.

“You see what you have to work with, the numbers you have, the people who aren’t there for one reason or another, but that’s international football.

“You can’t buy in, sell out or loan someone. You make the most of it and it’s as simple as that. No excuses. No-one likes losing but I enjoy this game too much to let disappointment or frustration take that away.”