Worthington declares Pompey interest

Nigel Worthington
Nigel Worthington

Nigel Worthington has declared his interest in the Pompey job.

The former Northern Ireland manager told The News he wants to replace Andy Awford at Fratton Park.

Worthington has been out of work since quitting York in October.

During his time at Bootham Crescent, the 53-year-old steered the Minstermen to last season’s play-off semi-finals on a shoestring budget.

He also previously took Norwich to the Championship title in 2003-04.

And Worthington has now become the first potential candidate to publicly reveal a desire to take over at the Blues.

He told The News: ‘I think Portsmouth is a club very few people would say no to.

‘In my current position from having a little breather from the game, it’s a position I would be interested in talking to the club about.

‘It’s how the chairman and directors see it. They will have the description of what they are looking for – and I am recharged and ready to go if required.

‘I thought they were going to make a push for it this season and from playing them earlier in the year it looked as though Andy was shaping them up quite nicely.

‘But it has been proven before that, even for bigger clubs in the lower leagues, there is no easy solution.

‘I have been in League Two for two-and-a-bit seasons with York and know the league very, very well. I also know the personnel and got York into the play-offs with a terrific run last season.

‘It wouldn’t matter to me where in the country a job came up, it’s not a problem.

‘I’m interested in Portsmouth and we’ll see what happens.’

Worthington began his managerial career at Blackpool, but it was with Norwich where he made his name.

After saving them from relegation, he took them to the First Division play-off final the following season, losing on penalties to Birmingham.

Regardless, they did reach the Premier League two years later after claiming the title.

Then followed four years as boss of Northern Ireland, following 66 caps as a player.

He joined York in March 2013, keeping them in the Football League on the final day.

Then last season, during which the Minstermen completed the double over Pompey, they lost to Fleetwood in the play-offs with an aggregate 1-0 scoreline.

Worthington added: ‘I’ve played and managed at Fratton Park down the years.

‘It has always been a fantastic atmosphere, the fans are very passionate about their football.

‘Portsmouth has had their highs and lows, but that is football – there is nothing to say that it cannot move forwards and upwards in the coming years.

‘It takes hard work, dedication and everybody at the football club pulling together to take it forward.’