Worthington denies Healy rift

Northern Ireland boss hails striker

Healy: Good relationship with Worthington

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Northern Ireland boss Nigel Worthington has insisted he has an 'outstanding' relationship with record scorer David Healy.

Worthington was unhappy with the manner of Northern Ireland's 2-0 defeat to Hungary in November and accused some of his players, who were not getting regular club football, of being unfit.

Healy was reportedly disappointed with the remarks but Worthington has now taken the opportunity to dismiss talk of a rift.

Northern Ireland meet San Marino in a World Cup qualifier on Wednesday and Worthington expects Healy, now more involved with Sunderland, to turn in a good performance.

He said: "I gave my opinion after the game, which was right and proper. Every player knew exactly where I was coming from. If you are not fit, you are going to struggle.

"David then responded but people have been trying to make something when there is nothing there.

Harmony

"My relationship with David has been first class, back to the time when we were together at Norwich.

"It will remain outstanding for three reasons - because of the relationship we already have; because of the player he is for Northern Ireland; because there is only one way to get on and that is to have harmony in the camp."

Healy has scored in each of his last two games for the Black Cats and Worthington is glad to have him back in good form.

"David is back in the frame and things have changed since the Hungary game," he said.

"One or two others are also getting more regular football.

"Certainly the players have been bouncing in training since we met up on Sunday."