Nigel Worthington has been appointed Northern Ireland manager until the end of their UEFA EURO 2008 qualifying campaign.

Worthington, who won 66 caps as a player for Northern Ireland, will take over with immediate effect, succeeding Lawrie Sanchez who left the job to join Fulham.

The 45-year-old Worthington said: "When your country comes knocking there can only be one answer and I am honoured to be given this opportunity, the nature of which is unusual.

"There is a good deal of talent in the squad with several younger players of quality emerging and I would like to congratulate Lawrie Sanchez and his support staff for leaving the squad in such good shape.

"I am fully aware of the enormity of the task and the expectations of the supporters."

Sanchez stepped down after being offered the permanent position as manager of Premiership side Fulham at the end of the season.

Worthington led Norwich into the Premiership in 2004 but was sacked in October 2006 with the club struggling back in the Championship. He recently had a spell in caretaker charge of Leicester but was overlooked for the job full-time.

An impressive Northern Ireland top group F of EURO 2008 qualifying with 13 points from six matches, just ahead of Sweden who have 12 from five games played.

Worthington's first match day appointment will be on August 22 when Northern Ireland host Liechtenstein.