Worthington - Lessons to learn
Nigel Worthington hopes his young N.Ireland squad will learn from a 5-0 humiliation against Rep of Ireland.
Last Updated: 25/05/11 7:47am
Nigel Worthington hopes that his inexperienced Northern Ireland squad will learn from their 5-0 humiliation at the hands of neighbours Republic of Ireland.
Robbie Keane scored twice, once from the penalty spot, while Republic debutants Stephen Ward and Simon Cox scored either side of their captain's double in Dublin.
The Carling Nations Cup fixture was all the more miserable for Northern Ireland as Craig Cathcart scored an own goal and Adam Thompson was sent off when giving away the spot-kick.
But Worthington hopes that the hammering proves to be useful in the careers of youngsters such as teenagers Thompson, Josh Carson and Lee Hodson.
The Northern Ireland manager told Sky Sports 1: "It is a learning experience.
"There have been a lot of youngsters out there. There is the good and bad in the game.
"They have got to take a lot from tonight and learn a lot from tonight, and that is why they are here, that's why they are part of it."
A misjudged Hodson back-pass gifted Keane his first goal, but Worthington was pleased with the Watford defender's response to the error.
He said: "Good players get over that situation and deal with it, and I thought he was excellent in the second half."
Northern Ireland will now look ahead to facing Wales on Friday, while Republic of Ireland prepare for a potential tournament decider against Scotland on Sunday.
Worthington said: "It is nice that we have got the group together for a week and have another big-ish game on Friday night.
"I just said to the players, 'get a smile on your face, dust yourselves down, and get ready to go again'."