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Wednesday 14 Nov 2018
Steven Davis: We’re aiming for two good results against Republic and Austria

Davis is in line to win his 106th cap for country at the Aviva Stadium and is again expected to lead out the team as skipper in Dublin. And the 33-year-old will be hoping a win against Martin O’Neill’s men will help cue them up to finish their UEFA Nations League campaign on a high when they face Austria in Belfast on Sunday.

“I think it’s really important over these next two games that we get back to getting results from the matches, certainly our performances have deserved more up to this point I think there have been a lot of things we’ve done well but there are obviously things we can improve on as well,” Davis said. “This is another opportunity for us to go out and try and grow as a team. Of course, we’ll be looking to get two good results.” 

Asked whether a friendly against the Republic of Ireland will provide an added edge, Davis replied: “The players are very familiar with each other … it’ll be a game that both teams will be wanting to get a result in, especially with results being the way they have been for both teams. There’ll be a real determination for us to get a result and take something up the road and set us up nicely for Sunday.”

Davis highlighted centre-back Shane Duffy as a potential threat from set plays but said he’s conscious of Republic’s strength as a team unit, adding that he’s expecting both sides will be respectful of each other’s qualities.

“I think they’ve got a lot of good players like Shane Duffy who is dangerous in the box and carries a real threat from set plays. Set-pieces are an important part of their game and they have good quality throughout the team, but I don’t think we’ll be singling out too many; I think we realise they play as a team.

“Both teams will be desperate to win. It’s not going to be an easy game. Both sides are quite evenly matched as well, and I think we’ll both be respectful of each other in terms of the qualities we have. Goals for both teams have been hard to come by of late but both teams will be determined to put that right in this game. For us, we know that we have been playing well and it’s about forming that into results now.”

When this double-header against Republic and Austria is out of the way, all eyes will be on next month’s Euro 2020 draw in early December and Davis admits it’s key to create positive momentum heading for next March. 

“We want to be set up as best as possible going into those games,” he added. “We want to have as much confidence and belief in the squad and I think we’ve taken some good steps up to this point. 

“We’re on the right path but it’s important that we get the results as well to show that we’re doing things right. If we can do that then we can go into the qualifiers with a lot of belief and a real determination.”