Worthington set for last hurrah

Nigel Worthington will take charge of his country for the final time on Tuesday night after conceding Northern Ireland need a change of direction.

Worthington, whose contract was up at the end of the year, made the decision after three successive defeats - two of those to lowly Estonia - extinguished his side's prospects of a Euro 2012 play-off place.

"All I would say to the fans is to be behind the team. The one thing I think supporters have to be careful of is that negativity around the football, and from some of the press," he said.

"If they're not careful they will switch some of our players off and they will pack it in.

"It's something that has been murmured and you wouldn't want to see players stepping away from honouring their country through those circumstances.

"Please remember, as the song goes, we're not Brazil, we're Northern Ireland. Sometimes that can be easily lost."

Worthington's assistant Glynn Snodin and goalkeeping coach Fred Barber will also step down from their roles, while under-21 boss Steve Beaglehole's position will be reviewed at the end of the month.

With no fixtures lined up until the visit of Norway in February, there is no rush for the Irish Football Association to appoint a new man and they will form their strategy at a scheduled board meeting later this month.

The likes of Shamrock Rovers boss Michael O'Neill and his temporary assistant Jim Magilton are likely to be in the frame to replace Worthington, while Iain Dowie already appears keen.

He told Sky Sports News: "The proudest moment of my playing career was captaining my country and I'm always happy to help. I believe my CV stands up to scrutiny and if the IFA want to have a conversation with me I would be happy to do that. If I can help I would."