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Worthington has McCourt concerns

Pat McCourt
Pat McCourt made his Northern Ireland debut in 2002 as a Rochdale player

Northern Ireland boss Nigel Worthington believes Celtic winger Pat McCourt must improve in order to secure a regular place in his squad.

McCourt made a substitute appearance in last week's friendly against Serbia.

Worthington said: "When he is on the ball he's a very good player. He passes it well and has vision but when he is without it the team is a player down.

"Paddy is a luxury player. In one way he has a lot going for him, not so much in another and that is a problem."

"It's not just me saying that. I'm singing from the same hymn sheet as his club manager Tony Mowbray," Worthington told the Sunday Life.

The Northern Ireland boss is not convinced that a wide role gets the best out of McCourt.

"He has good feet but, for example, he doesn't have the pace of Niall McGinn which prompts me to think he'd be better playing inside rather than wide.

"His ideal role perhaps is in the hole behind the front two.

"So much would depend on what system we decide to play but the bottom line is we always need high energy performances.

"Paddy gives the impression of being laid back. Nothing seems to faze him - he likes to play at his own pace.

"Hopefully, he is taking on board what he's being told and we will see a different player in the future."

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see also
Worthington pleased with display
14 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Northern Ireland 0-1 Serbia
14 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Feeney wants Worthington to stay
12 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Kirk keeps Northern Ireland place
03 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Czech Republic 0-0 N Ireland
14 Oct 09 |  Internationals

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