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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 January 2008, 12:29 GMT
NI begin with a trip to Slovakia
Nigel Worthington
Nigel Worthington has agreed a new two-year contract
Northern Ireland will begin their World Cup qualifying campaign with an away match against Slovakia on 6 September.

This will be followed by a home game against Czech Republic on 10 September, then away to Slovenia on 11 October and home to San Marino on 15 October.

Next up is away to San Marino on 11 February, 2009 and home to Poland and Slovenia on 28 March and 1 April, 2009.

Poland away will be on 5 September, home to Slovakia on 9 September and away to Czech Republic on 14 October.

Northern Ireland have avoided playing on June dates which have traditionally produced poor results as players have finished their club seasons.

They have also opted not to play their opening match at home on this occasion, following on from defeats at the hands of Poland and Iceland in recent campaign openers.

Manager Nigel Worthington's desire not to play back-to-back away games at any stage has been accomplished and potentially the most difficult game of the series, away to group favourites Czech Republic, is last on the rota.

"We did not want to play in June because most of the players finish their seasons in early May," said Worthington.

"We have also avoided playing a series of games back-to-back away from home so I am pleased with the way it has worked out.

"You have to play all of the teams at some stage and, make no mistake, it is a tough group.

"We need to pick up points away from home.

"If we can keep winning at home, and pick up points away, you never know what could happen."

World Cup qualifying fixtures
6 September 2008 - Slovakia v Northern Ireland
10 September 2008 - Northern Ireland v Czech Republic
11 October 2008 - Slovenia v Northern Ireland
15 October 2008 - Northern Ireland v San Marino
11 February 2009 - San Marino v Northern Ireland
28 March 2009 - Northern Ireland v Poland
1 April 2009 - Northern Ireland v Slovenia
5 September 2009 - Poland v Northern Ireland
9 September 2009 - Northern Ireland v Slovakia
14 October 2009 - Czech Republic v Northern Ireland

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IFA wants Worthington to stay on
19 Nov 07 |  Internationals


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