France fairy tale has left us wanting even more: Steven Davis


Steven Davis was too modest to mention it. He scored twice against Greece in a 3-1 win five years ago to send Northern Ireland to the Euro 2016 final, but when that game was brought up in a point of press Wednesday, the great Rangers did not go into details. The midfielder prefers to let his football do the talking with his performances at club level this season, which has recently prompted Rangers manager Steven Gerrard to identify the high standards of the 35-year-old.

Davis has the quality of being a hero again Thursday night at home against Slovakia in the Euro 2020 play-off final, although you know the Northern Ireland captain would be happy to settle for a of his teammates to make the headlines.

Asked how the experience of qualifying for the last European Championships can boost the team, Davis said: “I think for all of us who have been involved in great games, we have these experiences and we can certainly be inspired by it for this match. . We know how special it was for the people involved to qualify and those who were not involved want to experience it.

“We have said on several occasions how much we love being in France. It left us wanting more and we will come out determined to do it again.

So how would qualifying this time, if achieved, compare to the last time?

“The game against Greece was a night to remember for all of us involved, a special night,” said Davis. “I think it’s very difficult to compare the successes you have. If we do it Thursday night, the biggest success is ultimately the one you have at the time.

“Maybe it’s something you can look back on when you’re done with your career. Listen, we all want to perform on this stage again.

Over the years, Davis has played alongside Corry Evans in midfield at major internationals, the latter being a key part of the Northern Ireland machine.

The Blackburn Rovers ace has had a hard time with injuries and everyone in the squad was disappointed when he was forced to retire due to an injury sustained while playing for his club this weekend . With Middlesbrough pair Paddy McNair and Stoke’s George Saville and Jordan Thompson as well as Manchester United’s young Ethan Galbraith in the squad, there is plenty of capacity in the middle of the park, but the former Southampton star acknowledges that the he absence of Evans is a big blow.

“There is quality and good experience in it, but clearly Corry will be missing; you know what you get with Corry, he’s been great for his country and probably doesn’t always get the applause he deserves to be honest, ”Davis says.

“We want to get the job done and then he and Trevor Carson, who is also injured, we’ll give them something to look forward to. They are disappointed to miss the game, but the rest of the team are in a good position.

Telegraph de Belfast


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