Goal hero Steven Davis just can’t stop scoring for his country these days.
The little midfielder, who bagged a glorious double against Greece last month which guaranteed qualification for the 2016 Euro finals in France, was at it again at a bitterly cold Windsor Park on Friday night.
This time he popped up early in the second half to punish a Latvian side that demonstrated why they never won in a game in their qualifying group.
“Three goals in two appearances, it doesn’t get much better,” said Davis. “I’ve always said I love playing here.
“I love playing in front of the fans who have always been great to me personally.
“When I was replaced near the finish, they gave me a great ovation that I really appreciated.
“This has been the best year in my career playing for my country,” he added.
“The secret is keeping that momentum going in the build up to the Euro Championships.
“We need to keep that desire, keep that momentum.”
The Southampton man also admitted he was relieved to end the jinx of Northern Ireland not having won an international game since 2008.
“It’s good to get that monkey off our backs,” he added. “We knew going into the game we were in a good run; we are now eight unbeaten, so the incentive was there.
“It was nice to end the year with a win. We’ll now all go back to our clubs, but we’ll all keep in touch over the next few months,” Davis said.
“It’s important everyone does well for their clubs. When we come back in the new year, we’ll all be in peak fitness for the countdown to the European Championships.”