Football

Worthington in no rush to sign new Northern Ireland deal

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Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington insists he is in no rush to sign his new contract as he is happy to go about his work as normal.

Worthington has verbally agreed a deal with the Irish Football Association to run the length of the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign. It was thought he would put pen to paper ahead of the friendly against Albania but he says there is no cause for concern.

Worthington explained: "It has been verbally agreed, the contract is there. The association's lawyers have looked over it. At the moment it is with the League Managers' Association's lawyers."

He added: "As far as I am aware, there are no problems. It is a case of everything being right from a legal point of view.

"I am getting on with the job and enjoying it. I don't need to sign a bit of paper to do my job."

Birmingham goalkeeper Maik Taylor will captain the side in the absence of Aaron Hughes, who has been rested and Taylor is looking forward to the challenge, especially as he will be playing behind a new defence.

With Jonny Evans returning to Manchester United because of a knee problem, Worthington has his back line sorted out as he has only four players in that area of the field left.

Andrew Little - who has played as a striker - comes in at right-back, Stephen Craigan and George McCartney make up the central defensive partnership with Ryan McGivern on the left.

Taylor said: "I'll be very vocal but I usually am during a game because it helps my concentration. This game gives the two youngsters a chance, although Ryan McGivern has played quite a bit at left-back already for us.

"I know when Andrew Little has been with us before he's been selected as a striker but I'm hoping he'll be able to enjoy the experience at right-back."

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