FOOTBALL: Steven Davis poised for 100th cap in play-offs with Northern Ireland

Steven Davis, Michael McGovern and Chris Brunt
Steven Davis, Michael McGovern and Chris Brunt

Next month’s World Cup qualifying play-off will hold extra significance for Northern Ireland captain Steve Davis.

The Southampton midfielder will make his 100th appearance for his country and his 50th as captain in the first leg of the double header.

Davis, however, is only focused on leading his side to their first World Cup finals since 1986, no matter who they are paired with in the draw later this month.

“We respect opponents but we don’t fear anyone, and we have to go into these games with that belief,” he said after the game in Norway.

“We’ve been on a great run and built up great momentum over the last few years.

“It’s a great occasion to look forward to, two legs in quick succession.

“The first leg will be my 100th cap so I have a lot to look forward to.

“If we were to manage to get to a World Cup it would be a dream come true...an unbelievable experience.

“That’s the carrot that’s there for us and we want to achieve that, and we will do our utmost to try and do that.”

Davis admitted the Scotland result coupled with the booking situation had been in the back of players’ minds before the game.

“We were determined to go out there and finish the group on a high and give ourselves the best possible chance of being seeded,” he said.

“It’s a little bit difficult when you know you have secured a play-off place before the game and also with the booking situation as well you’re on a bit of a tight rope with that as well.

“We can use tonight’s experience and make sure we’re right at every game to go and get results, and they don’t come much bigger than the next two games coming up now.”