Belfast Telegraph

Winning all that matters: Davis

By Chris Holt

Northern Ireland midfielder Steven Davis has admitted that Saturday's crunch clash with Denmark is unlikely to be a game for the purists.

Nigel Worthington's men were applauded after their draw in Sweden a month ago for turning in a classy display against the odds.

In times gone by Northern Ireland teams have dug in, hit teams on the counter-attack - certainly against bigger sides - and picked up points against the odds.

In Sweden, however, what stood out was the way in which the boys in green passed the ball around against their more illustrious opponents and, having picked up a draw, arguably deserved to gain the victory.

Now, after those two disastrous displays away to Iceland and Latvia, they are very much back in the frame for a place in next summer's European Championship finals and a win at Windsor Park against the Danes could set up an extraordinary clash with Spain, with our boys standing just 90 minutes away from taking Northern Ireland to their first major finals since the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.

Denmark, too, can still make it - turning tomorrow night's match into a do-or-die mission.

And it is for that reason that Davis, a classy player in his own right, believes football may have to go out the window. Ultimately it's the result that matters.

"That (Sweden game) was one of our best performances, I thought we played some really good football, especially away from home, and we were unlucky not to win the game," said the Fulham midfielder.

"We kept the ball well and we created chances - it was a top performance from everybody.

"We took control of the game really well and we played so well especially after two defeats.

"Now we have to go out and get another result in what is going to be another tough game.

"We have played them (Denmark) away already and it was tough over there and we will be expecting much the same here.

"Both teams need to win to try and qualify and so it is likely to be a very tight game and hopefully we will get the better of it.

"Nigel wants us to play a certain way but obviously the result is the most important thing.

"So whatever we have to do to try and achieve that, we will do."

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