Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers has turned down the chance to be part-time manager of the Northern Ireland national team. The 58-year-old was recently approached by the Irish Football Association to succeed Nigel Worthington at the helm but he has politely decline as he wants to focus on his job at Swansea, who are currently 15th in the Premier League. However, he has said that we would love to be given the opportunity to manage his country at some point in his career.
Worthington stepped down back in October after Northern Ireland failed to qualify for the European Championships next summer. Despite a bright start to their qualification campaign they finished poorly, losing their last four matches in a row. In total they won just one of the last 13 games of Worthington's reign, which is simply not good enough. Rodgers has seen his reputation grow rapidly since guiding Swansea to the Premier League at the first time of asking. Although he is believed to be flattered at being asked by the IFA, at this moment in time he is keen to continue the work he has started at the Liberty Stadium and at present his sole focus is keeping The Swans in England's top flight.
Jim Magilton is currently the evens favourite in the Next Northern Ireland Manager Betting. Iain Dowie, who has said he would welcome the chance to manage his country, is next in the betting at 2/1, followed by Michael O'Neill at 3/1. Other names in the frame include Dave Jones and Gerry Armstrong. The new manager will be tasked with guiding Northern Ireland to World Cup 2014 in Brazil. They have been placed in qualification Group F alongside Portugal, Russia, Israel, Azerbaijan and Luxembourg, with their opening match of the campaign a tough trip to Russia on 7th September 2012.
Odd supplied by Paddy Power.