Healy plans to play on
Northern Ireland's all-time leading scorer hopes to remain in the fold
Last Updated: October 12, 2011 10:51pm
David Healy: Hoping to be given an opportunity to add to his 35 international goals
David Healy has saluted outgoing Northern Ireland boss Nigel Worthington and made himself available to whoever takes the vacant post.
The 32-year-old is no longer considered to be a regular starter for club or country, with a lack of competitive action having worked against him.
Healy has slipped behind Kyle Lafferty in the pecking order at Rangers and was left out by Worthington for the Carling Nations Cup earlier this year, despite being desperate to play.
Healy has nothing but praise for his former international coach, though, and insists he remains as determined as ever to play a leading role for his country.
"We played as Nigel wanted and as he has always wanted us to, but we would have needed luck against Italy and we needed it for the last Euro campaign, but it wasn't meant to be," he said following a 3-0 defeat to Italy in Northern Ireland's final Euro 2012 qualifier on Tuesday.
"Lady Luck just wasn't shining on Nigel for his four-and-a-half years.
"Nigel and I have had our differences, but what I will say is that he's been honest. While some players might not appreciate managers who are quite that honest, it's been good for me and he's given me chances, kept me in the squad.
"It's frustrating when you hear or read about the flak he gets from the media or the fans, even though they're frustrated too.
"Nigel is a very dignified man, has kept himself quiet and I have so much respect for him. Nigel wanted us to play for pride and that's what we did."
Healy has gone three years since he last notched an international goal, but he is still Northern Ireland's leading scorer of all-time and is planning to add to his 35 strikes and 91 caps in the future.
"Whoever takes over I will want to play for," said the 32-year-old.
"I am sure that the fans will now look forward to whoever is taking over and hopefully we, as young and experienced players, whoever is going to stay will stick together because we are a good, strong group.
"Hopefully whoever comes in will see me as someone who can help because I still feel I can offer some experience, knowledge and know-how for the young boys who are coming through."