We are determined to make a real go of it says Steven Davis

Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis. 'Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis. 'Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
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Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis says there is a real determination in the squad to make an impact on their EURO 2020 Qualification Group.

Davis admits there was a sense of frustartion in the camp after the Nations League games.

But the Rangers midfielder feels there was plenty of positives to take out of the performances even if the results did not go as planned.

“When you come straight off the back of the games there is frustration,” he said.

“But when you analyse the performances, there are a lot of positives to take with the performances and the young players that came in.

“There is going to be a lot of determination in the squad to make a real go of this campaign.”

Davis knows Northern Ireland need to get off to a positive start in their qualifying group against the lesser lights of Estonia and Belarus with big guns Germany and the Netherlands waiting in the wings.

“It’s clearly a very difficult group but the two home games give us the chance to get off to a positive start,” he said.

“We need to try and put ourselves in a position to do something in the group after the first four games. There was good progress made in the Nations League although the results didn’t show that.

“We need to play on the front foot but with an air of patience so we don’t force things too much. We need to be more clinical in front of goal.”

Davis had hoped to be coming in to this round of fixtures with plenty of game time under his belt at Ibrox.

But he has not featured as much as he would have liked since making the loan switch to Rangers from Southampton back in January.

The midfielder is one of a number of players in the Nortehrn Ireland squad who are struggling to get regular game time with their club sides, but he doesn’t feel it will impact the team as a whole.

“It’s not a new situation for the squad,” he pointed out.

“We’ve always managed to deal with it quite well.

“It’s not an ideal situation for Michael but you’ve got to accept where you’re at and you’ve got to do what you can in training to keep yourselves in the best possible shape.

“I made the move to Rangers hoping to get game time and that hasn’t panned out as I would like at the minute.

“It was good to get 90 minutes at the weekend but you need a run of games to get to the level you want to be at.

“My general fitness is good and I’m looking forward to these two games.”

One player who is definitely out of both games though is Will Grigg who has returned to Sunderland with an ongoing ankle complaint.

“He wasn’t going to be in contention tomorrow night and it was unrealistic to expect him to be ready for Sunday, so it was in his best interests to let him go back to his club,” confirmed Michale O’Neill..

“We have other options, but it is disappointing as in the Nations League, Will showed he’s capable of scoring at this level.”

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