EURO 2016: Steven Davis confident players won’t Kop it at Windsor Park

Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis
Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis

Steven Davis hopes the absence of the Kop Stand at Windsor Park doesn’t derail Northern Ireland’s Euro 2016 qualification hopes.

Four wins from five opening qualifiers have Michael O’Neill’s side firmly on track for next summer’s finals.

Two of those victories – against the Faroe Islands and Finland – came at Windsor.

A 2-0 success over the Faroes in October was backed up by a 2-1 win against Finland back in March.

All four goals were scored in front of the famous Kop, with Gareth McAuley and Kyle Lafferty (3) sending the 4,000 fans housed in the stand into raptures.

But after structural damage was discovered after the Finland game, the bulldozers came in to demolish it.

It will leave a gaping hole in the stadium when Northern Ireland step out against Romania on Saturday night.

But Southampton midfielder Davis isn’t too perturbed by its absence.

“It’s not ideal,” he said.

“Of course we’d like the Kop to be there, but the fans give us great backing and I don’t think it’ll have much of am affect.

“I know the fans will back us and push us on.

“Like ourselves, they are optimistic about the start we have made to the campaign. It’s a great place to be at this moment in time.”

He added: “We’re enjoying the position we’re in at the minute and rightly so.

“Everyone is genuinely looking forward to the game tomorrow night. It’s great to be playing a fixture in June where there is a good level of importance on it.”

Davis admits Romania are favourites to win Group F.

Anghel Iordanescu’s side sit top on 13 points – one ahead of Northern Ireland with five qualifiers remaining.

“Yes, I think Romania are favourites to finish top,” said Davis.

“They’re ranked 12th in the world so it’s going to be a tough game but we’re confident and I think we can get a good result and take a step in the right direction in terms of qualification.”