Davis hungry for success
N IRELAND v FINLAND Kick-off 7.45pm, Sky Sports 3
STEVEN DAVIS is promising a “hungry” performance from a new-look Northern Ireland side in tonight’s friendly against Finland.
Davis, who took over as captain from Aaron Hughes when Michael O’Neill was appointed manager, was one of 12 first-choice players who missed the 6-0 defeat against Holland in June.
But Davis is back to lead the side out at Windsor Park as O’Neill has a much stronger squad to choose from.
Central defender Hughes, Celtic winger Paddy McCourt and uncapped Liverpool teenager Ryan McLaughlin have withdrawn from the initial squad due to injury, joining Manchester United’s Jonny Evans.
But Northern Ireland are otherwise at full strength and Davis has promised the team will have more fire in their bellies.
“Holland was always going to be a difficult game, the Dutch are a great side,” he said.
“But this is a really good opportunity to build a bit of confidence, play the way we want to and get a good result.
“It’s a good opportunity to play at Windsor Park and it’s the last match before the competitive games start.
“Everything is aimed towards the World Cup qualifiers, but for now we’re focused on Finland.
“It will be a hungry squad and everyone is looking forward to the game.”