Steven Davis: Northern Ireland and Republic both ‘desperate’ for a win

Steven Davis
Steven Davis

Thursday night’s international between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland in Dublin is more than a meaningless friendly insists Steven Davis.

Given both sides’ struggles in the UEFA Nations League matches recently, the Northern Ireland skipper believes both are desperate to win Thursday night’s game at the Aviva Stadium (7.45pm).

Northern Ireland have lost twice to Bosnia-Heregovina and away to Austria leaving them facing relegation from Pool B3.

A win tonight would be the ideal boost they need going into Sunday’s clash with Austria at the National Stadium at Windsor Park.

“There is going to be a real edge (to the game),” said Davis.

“The players are very familiar with each other and it’s like playing any of the home nations, there’ll be that edge to the game,” added the Southampton midfielder.

“It’ll be a game that both teams will be desperate to come out and get a result in, especially with the results the way they’ve been for both teams in recent times.”

Northern Ireland have not scored a goal in six away games, although they did strike the woodwork three times in last month’s loss to Bosnia in Sarajevo and once during the defeat in Vienna to Austria.

Attention has turned to next year’s Euro qualifiers, with Davis clear about the importance of building some momentum before the draw is made in December.

“We want to go into those games with as much confidence and belief as possible,” he added.