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Worthington sure North can qualify despite draw

Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington believes "the door is open" to Euro 2012 qualification despite his team taking just a point from their last two Group C matches.

A battling 2-1 defeat in Serbia on Friday was followed up last night with a goalless draw at home to Slovenia.

Worthington had dreamed of taking six points from the back-to-back matches and had realistic designs on four.

Although one point falls some way below those expectations, the 1-1 draw between Serbia and Estonia in Tallinn means Northern Ireland remain in the hunt for second place.

"It's pretty much the same as it was before now," said Worthington.

"The fact that the other sides have drawn too keeps the door right open for us.

"I said at the outset, before anyone had kicked a ball in this group, that everyone was capable of taking points off everyone else and so it has proved up to now.


"We have to keep solid, try to win our game in hand and go on from there. We've got a point and we've lost one out of five, not bad.

"We'd have loved to get the win and really tighten that gap but it's another point, and the game in hand we have is going to be a big game for us now."

Defeat would have been a slightly harsh result on the visitors but Worthington was left disappointed as West Brom man Chris Brunt just fell short after lunging across the turf with the Slovenian goal gaping.

"I've just told the lads that for all their efforts over the last two games they haven't got their rewards," said Worthington.

"But on another night, or if Brunty had another half an inch on his studs, we'd have scored."