Worthington to leave Northern Ireland post

Nigel Worthington said on Monday he will stand down as Northern Ireland manager after their final Euro 2012 qualifier against Italy on Tuesday.

Northern Ireland are second from bottom in their qualifying group and their hopes of reaching the European Championship in Ukraine and Poland next June were extinguished following Friday's 2-1 home defeat by Estonia.

Worthington, who was appointed in June 2007, also presided over an unsuccessful qualifying campaign for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

"I feel it is only right to give the Association and players the opportunity and time to move forward and that is why I have decided that Tuesday night's game will be my last in charge," former Northern Ireland player and Norwich City boss Worthington said in a statement.

"It has been a pleasure and I would like to wish the Irish Football Association all the best for the future; and to the supporters who have been fantastic throughout."

Former coach Lawrie Sanchez has expressed an interest in returning to the job.