Belfast Telegraph

Now watch me soar with Southampton: Steven Davis

By Graham Luney

Steven Davis has become the latest player to put the Rangers saga behind them by signing a three-year deal at Southampton.

The 27-year-old was captain of the beleaguered Ibrox giants but left after rejecting a transfer to the newco club.

The midfielder follows the likes of his Northern Ireland team-mate Kyle Lafferty and Steven Whittaker out of the club and has joined newly-promoted Saints until 2015.

“I'm delighted to get everything done and dusted, and I'm looking forward to getting started,” said Davis who is now back in the Premier League after spells at Aston Villa and Fulham.

“There was quite a bit of interest in me from other clubs but, after speaking to the chairman and the manager, I saw the level of ambition the club has shown.

“They've had a lot of success over the past couple of years to get to this stage, and they don't want to stand still — they want to keep moving forward, and that was a big thing for me.

“Now I'm just looking forward to getting down, getting to know the boys and getting started.”

Saints manager Nigel Adkins said: “It's very good and I'm very pleased. Obviously the work the club has gone and done to make it happen is really promising for the future.

“Steven's an experienced player — a very talented football player

who has played international football, captained his country, captained Rangers, and played in the Premier League, so he's at a good age and comes with a wealth of experience as well. We work very hard behind the scenes and we're delighted that the football club has managed to secure his services.”

Meanwhile, Celtic manager Neil Lennon admits he will miss the Old Firm rivalry following the loss of Rangers from the Scottish Premier League.

“There's that competitiveness, that rivalry, you are obviously going to miss the games,” said Lennon. “It's a great selling point for Scottish football but they are not here and there's nothing I can do about that.

“From a personal point of view, I won't have to go through the stress and the worry and the build-up for a week and the aftermath. But that's just me being selfish, I don't think there are too many benefits without the Old Firm.”

  • KILMARNOCK boss Kenny Shiels turns back the clock today when he brings his SPL team to Fortwilliam Park for a friendly fixture against his former club Tobermore United (3pm).

Shiels still has strong links with Tobermore — he’s a former player and manager.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said Shiels. “My assistant Jimmy Nicholl will also be coming over. I’ll be bringing a strong squad, sprinkled with a few of our younger guys.”

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