Belfast Telegraph

Steven Davis keen to meet up again with old pal Shiels

By Robert Jones

Steven Davis will be casting his mind back to his schooldays this evening when he comes up against a familiar face.

The Northern Ireland international will encounter his old mentor Kenny Shiels when the former Coleraine and Ballymena United boss brings his Kilmarnock side to Ibrox for a Scottish Premier League clash with Rangers (7.45).

And Davis, who is currently skippering the Scottish champions, has fond memories of working with the former Northern Ireland under-17 boss.

“I played under Kenny at schoolboys level,” said the 26-year-old.

“He’s all about getting the ball down and playing it the right way and I think players respect that.

“He’s got a group of players who like to play the game the right way. They’re responding to his thoughts on the game.

“They started playing that way under Mixu Paatelainen last season and now Kenny has carried that on.

“It’s refreshing to see someone like him get a chance. He lives and breathes football.

“Ever since I knew him since I was 15 or 16 his life has been about the game. He spent his time travelling about going to games and coaching. Hopefully, he continues the good work.”

Davis will today be named in Northern Ireland boss Nigel Worthington’s squad for the final two Euro 2012 qualifying battles against Estonia and Italy.

Worthington has been slammed by Shiels who said the Northern Ireland team had gone back 10 years under his charge and he even said the Ballymena man was “not a football man.”

Davis refused to be drawn on Shiels’ comments, saying: “I wasn’t really aware of what he said about it.”

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