Belfast Telegraph

Steven Davis can land deserved Northern Ireland appearance record, predicts Hughes

 

Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis.
Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis.
Aaron Hughes

By Paul Ferguson

Just one day into retirement, legend Aaron Hughes has tipped skipper Steven Davis to overtake the great Pat Jennings and become Northern Ireland's most capped player.

Former Northern Ireland captain Hughes hung up his boots on 112 caps following the dramatic Euro 2020 qualifying victory over Belarus on Tuesday night in Borisov.

Midfield maestro Davis made his 111th international appearance and is now ranked seventh on the list of most capped outfield British Isles players.

The 34-year-old, who has just signed a new one-year deal at Rangers, should draw level with 39-year-old Hughes during September's friendly against Luxembourg and move ahead of the former Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Fulham star in the big glamour Euro qualifier against Germany at Windsor Park three days later.

Then he will be just six games shy of Jennings' long-standing record of 119 appearances.

If Northern Ireland manage to complete their minor miracle by qualifying from a group including Germany and the Netherlands, Davis would be set to create personal history on the grandest of all European stages.

"Davo has a great chance of doing it because in terms of caps he has been turning up and playing for years through the hard and good times," said Hughes after flying home from Belarus yesterday.

"If there is anyone in the squad that deserves to go on beyond me and Pat then Davo would be a prime example of that."

Hughes, from Cookstown, admits he has absolutely no regrets about not overtaking Jennings and insists he was just pleased to reach the century mark.

"As I moved closer to Pat Jennings' record, people started asking about it," conceded Hughes.

"Deep down I knew I was not going to get close to it. So, it's great to have 112. At one stage I didn't think I was going to get 100, so to get those extra 12 is a real bonus."

FULL INTERVIEW: P54-55

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph