Steve Davis is a man who never looks flustered, no matter how great the pressure piled on his shoulders may be.
Whether it’s in the green of Northern Ireland or Rangers blue he is coolness personified, even in the heat of a tense Windsor Park international or a fiercely contested Old Firm battle.
And that’s just as well, because the Cullybackey-man won’t come under more pressure from anyone other than himself.
If anyone thought that the Northern Ireland players were going to relax after last month’s |1-0 win over Slovenia in the opening Euro 2012 qualifier then they are very much mistaken.
For Gers midfielder Davis it’s not about one result, he’s driven by a desire to keep winning points over the next 12 months to take Northern Ireland to the finals of a European Championships for the first time. And that means going out against Italy at Windsor Park on Friday night and adding their name to the list of top nations who have been toppled in Belfast in recent years.
“I think if we’re going to achieve qualification we’ve still got to put that pressure on ourselves,” said Davis.
“After the Slovenia results there is optimism, but the players certainly won’t get carried away.
“We’ll focus on doing everything right and doing everything to our maximum against Italy, otherwise our chances of coming out with a result will decrease.”
The team that won in Slovenia did what many Northern Ireland sides have done down the years.
After almost exactly 12 months without a goal and no wins in 10 games, Nigel Worthington’s men pulled off a fantastic result just when it looked like the momentum built up during the last two campaigns, when qualification had gone right down to the last game, was about to evaporate.
Now the gloom has been lifted and the feelgood factor, which has hovered over most of what the Northern Ireland team have done over the last five years, has been restored.
“It was a great result for us in Slovenia,” said Davis.
“Before the game there was a lot of hype and discussion about not having scored in so many games and different things, so it’s nice to get that one out of the way and we’ll now go into Friday with a real optimism.
“There’s a great atmosphere at Windsor and we’ve managed to get some great results in the night games and hopefully that will continue for us, but we can’t afford to underestimate Italy.
“It’s going to be a really tough game for us to get anything from, but we’ll just go out and give it our all and hope that it’s enough for us to get something.”
Davis has been outstanding for Rangers of late, carrying on his form from last season which made him a double Player of the Year in Scotland.
Now his club and international colleague Kyle Lafferty has hit his best scoring run since moving to Glasgow and that is good news for Nigel Worthington.
“I’m delighted for Kyle. He’s had a tough time at Rangers and he’s struggled with niggly injuries and other things have been written about him,” said Davis, as Puma opened a new mini-store at SS Moore’s in Belfast yesterday.
“The hat-trick helped and it was a crucial goal that he got on Saturday too.”