Northern Ireland boss Nigel Worthington has told his side they must "get stuck in" against Serbia on Friday night to avoid being outplayed.

Despite going into the Euro 2012 Group C qualifier ahead of their opponents in the standings and with a game in hand, Worthington accepts Serbia have the personnel to win handsomely if his men allow them to play.

"We have got to look to get a good start right from kick-off, go and get stuck into them like we have done to teams in the past when we have got results against quality teams," Worthington said.

"You can name the games - Sweden away, Czech Republic home and away, Poland at home and away, Denmark at home, Slovenia away.

"They are the ones for me that are typical Nigel Worthington performances - hard working, fit for 90 minutes, give nothing up.

"That's how I want us to play all the time. For us to get a result here we need that. Anything less and Serbia will definitely take the points."

Serbia have endured a trying campaign thus far with disappointing results against Slovenia and Estonia, not to mention the crowd trouble against Italy which saw the match forfeited and home fans banned from the Crvena Zvezda Stadium for Friday's match.

Injuries to key players, including Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic, have further hurt their cause, but Worthington does not consider them a team in meltdown.

"I'm not falling into that one, about Serbia being in disarray," he said. "You look at that squad and they've got a strong team. They've got exceptional players individually and as a group.

"They have a great team, great individuals in certain areas and I'm not getting sucked in at all."

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