The ex-Northern Ireland manager has warned that Kyle Lafferty needs to beware of his ‘self-destruct' button during an interview with HITC Sport, as his country prepares for a crucial period in qualifying.
Lafferty has played a massive part in the amazing start to Group F, scoring in the wins against Hungary, the Faroe Islands and Greece. The two away wins for Michael O'Neill's side have given Northern Ireland a big chance of qualifying for the 2016 European Championships in France, as they currently sit in second place.
Despite the great spell for his country, Lafferty has left Championship promotion chasers Norwich City to join Turkish Süper Lig club side Çaykur Rizespor on loan, and Worthington hopes that the former Rangers player can find some consistent form for both club and country.
“Kyle can be very hit and miss and that has shown that over a period of time at whatever clubs he’s been at," Worthington told HITC Sport.
"But he is very capable and always works very hard for the team. He is capable of scoring a goal but there’s a self-destruct button in there as well, so he has to be very careful that he’s available for all the games because Northern Ireland are going into a crucial period now.
“Some players are very good for their country and don’t always do as much for their club, it’s a strange scenario to have, but Kyle always gives 100 percent and works very hard for the team. I don’t know whether moving out to Turkey is a good situation for him or not, but hopefully he’s playing at a reasonably good level and he’s keeping himself in good shape for the upcoming games.”
Lafferty made a name for himself at Burnley and his performances earned him a move to Rangers in 2008 where he failed to make a significant impact before moving to FC Sion. After one season at FC Sion he moved to then Serie B side Palermo, but was sold to Norwich after one season, being described by club president Maurizio Zamparini as an 'out-of-control womaniser' as quoted by ESPN.
While Lafferty's goals have helped fire Northern Ireland into qualifying contention, O'Neill's side are far from a one man team with the likes of Steven Davis and Johnny Evans in their ranks, and Worthington thinks that focus and consistency will help as they prepare for the second half of the qualifying campaign.
"For Northern Ireland going into the second half of group games I think it will be about focus and all of the players turning up on a regular basis and really getting back to where they started off in the campaign,” he said.
“So to carry on building on that and getting the momentum going again after the mid-season break in international football would be a big thing. It won't be an easy situation against Finland on Sunday but it’s one that if everyone is focused on what they are doing then hopefully we can get all three points.”