Past motivates Worthington

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Football News

Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington gave a history lesson to his players on the eve of the World Cup qualifier against Poland and urged them to become heroes.

The province would go top of Group Three should they achieve a victory at Chorzow's Slaski Stadium and Slovakia lose to the Czech Republic, and Worthington wants his team to emulate the Northern Ireland sides of 1982 and 1986 in securing qualification for the World Cup finals.

"What happened then is a great selling tool to the players and I know this group would love to emulate those sides from the past," said the former Sheffield Wednesday defender, who played in the latter campaign.

"Over the course of the next three games there is a magnificent stage for heroes to rise and put us on the map.

"I was very fortunate to get to '86 with a top class group of players. I have some wonderful memories from those days.

"It is a goal probably fulfilled if you are an international footballer and maybe something you dreamt about as a youngster.

"For Northern Ireland to achieve those heights in qualifying, given the size of the country, is phenomenal."

"Poland are a very good side and we have very much respect for them. But we have been very focused on what we need to do. If we go and perform as we can, we are very capable of getting a good result."

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