Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

History awaits

Steve Davis

Steve Davis wants to achieve legendary status in Northern Ireland by taking the country to the World Cup finals.

Only three sets of players have represented Northern Ireland on the biggest stage there is in football and even the stars of 1958 are still talked about in glowing terms — 51 years after that tournament.

And Rangers midfielder Davis would love to enter folklore alongside players like Peter McParland, Danny Blanchflower, Harry Gregg and more recent heroes like Gerry Armstrong and Pat Jennings from 1982 and 1986.

The Cullybackey man will have a key role to play against Poland on Saturday evening when Nigel Worthington’s men attempt to take a big step towards next summer’s finals in South Africa.

“These games are set up for us to write ourselves into the history books,” said Davis.

“As players we can appreciate how difficult it is to qualify for a major tournament.

“We’ve experienced it over the last couple of years. We have seen the progression that there has been over the last couple of campaigns where we have been getting that little bit closer each time, but we have three tough games coming up and hopefully we can see it through.

“There is a belief among the squad that they can emulate the men that have gone before them

“I believe we can make it.

“We do still have a major task even with three games to go, especially with two of them away from home, but if we can get a result in Poland then we’ll come back to Windsor Park next Wednesday night still in the frame,” added Davis.

The Rangers midfielder believes the key to success on Saturday is silencing the hostile crowd at the Slaski Stadium.

“We’re expecting a hostile atmosphere after the previous game, but I am sure it’ll be a good atmosphere to play in,” he said.

“Hopefully we can quieten them and then build from there.”

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