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  • by Alex Mills

Northern Ireland skipper Steven Davis is determined to savour a winning feeling as captain of his country.

The 28-year-old Southampton midfielder has worn the armband on 11 occasions, but is yet to sample the sweet taste of victory.

Davis insists Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier against Russia at Windsor Park provides the perfect platform to kick the trend.

“It goes without saying it has been a very frustrating time,” he said. “Everyone has felt that frustration – not just me or the manager. The whole squad has felt it.

“We have seen progression in terms of performances, but we know it is a results driven business and we need to put that right to get that monkey off our back.”

Northern Ireland’s performances in the campaign certainly have deserved more, but they have the knack of conceding soft goals at crucial times.

He added: “Our play in general has been very good. We’ve created as many chances this campaign as we have the previous campaign in total. The difference is, we haven’t taken those chances, but there are positives. We have to turn performances into results.

“There were a lot of positives to take from the performance out in Russia. We frustrated them for long periods. We maybe could have done better in possession, but there were positives.

“There wasn’t too much between the two sides over there. There wasn’t a great deal in the game. They had a lot of possession, but didn’t cause us too many problems.

“We have built on that since then, performance wise, and got a good result over in Portugal. We now have an opportunity to put in a good performance against one of the top seeds in the group, but we need to get a result along with it.

“We’re under no illusions and we’re not underestimating the task before us. It will be a very difficult game and to get anything from it, we’ll need to be at our very best.

“They are well organised and don’t concede too many chances.”




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