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Page last updated at 21:45 GMT, Wednesday, 12 August 2009 22:45 UK

NI winger impresses Worthington

Niall McGinn
Niall McGinn caught the eye of the N Ireland manager in Belfast

Northern Ireland boss Nigel Worthington was delighted with the display of substitute Niall McGinn in the 1-1 friendly draw with Israel.

The Celtic winger has put himself in contention for a starting place in the World Cup qualifiers next month.

"Niall McGinn did terrifically well - he got us up the pitch and used his pace and ability," he said.

"There were lots of pluses and one or two little mistakes but it was good to get the players back and refocused."

Worthington's team face Poland and group leaders Slovakia next month in a crucial double-header.

McGinn was not the only replacement praised by the manager after the game.

"Martin Paterson worked hard and was solid, Steven Davis was outstanding in the second half and young Jonathan Tuffey made a good safe.

"The group is getting stronger and that is good for the team.

"I'm pleased with the exercise, that's five unbeaten and let's hope we come back from Poland making it six."

David Healy, who was replaced by Paterson, has now gone six games without a goal but Worthington was quick to defend the Sunderland striker.

He added: "Just because David has not scored as frequently as before does not mean we discard him - he has been a magnificent player for Northern Ireland.

"We have to support and help him, and when he scores again he will be off and running.

"But there's other people there, we can mix and match and we had two or three permutations up front which will be required in the qualifiers."



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see also
N Ireland 1-1 Israel
12 Aug 09 |  Internationals
Pick your N Ireland XI
27 Apr 09 |  Internationals
Coates remains in N Ireland squad
03 Aug 09 |  Internationals
Italy 3-0 Northern Ireland
06 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Worthington praise for NI display
06 Jun 09 |  Internationals


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