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Page last updated at 22:17 GMT, Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Worthington bemoans 'blip' in win


It's not all doom and gloom - Worthington

Northern Ireland boss Nigel Worthington said the loss of three players for the next World Cup qualifier was "a blip on a good night" after beating San Marino.

Steve Davis, George McCartney and Kyle Lafferty will not face Poland in March because of suspension after being booked in Wednesday's 3-0 victory.

"As it stands we've lost three players but we'll maybe appeal George's yellow card if we can," said Worthington.

"Against that, we will have Jonny Evans and Sammy Clingan coming back."

The NI manager praised his players' "good attitude and good professionalism" in seeing off San Marino comfortably in Serravalle.

The win moves them into second spot in Group Three, level on points with Poland, Czech Republic and Slovenia, and two points behind group leaders Slovakia.

"We worked hard, passed the ball well and scored three good goals.

"The players have been first class, as they always are, and we will look forward to facing Poland in front of our own supporters."

Worthington said his side should "enjoy a vital three points and the fact that we are now in second place in the group".

"Grant McCann's deliveries were good for ninety per cent of the game and Gareth McAuley doesn't get enough goals, but he got his reward tonight and credit to him.

"McCann had a super game and capped it off with a good goal."

The Northern Ireland boss was also impressed with Damien Johnson on his return to international football after a lengthy absence.

"We know Damien Johnson's ability and his talent and I thought his overall performance tonight was really mature.

"He controlled it, passed it well, got crosses in and did a super job for the team."

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see also
San Marino 0-3 Northern Ireland
11 Feb 09 |  Internationals
International football as it happened
11 Feb 09 |  Internationals
N Ireland match on as rain eases
11 Feb 09 |  Internationals
Gillespie omitted from NI squad
02 Feb 09 |  Internationals
Pick your N Ireland XI
06 Jun 07 |  Internationals

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