Belfast Telegraph

We'll have to keep cool heads: Davis

 

By Paul Ferguson

Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis does not expect his manager to throw caution to the wind against Germany on Thursday night - even though six players are on yellow cards and walking a suspension tightrope.

Davis along with Corry and Jonny Evans, Stuart Dallas, Ollie Norwood and Josh Magennis have all picked up a yellow card during this qualifying campaign and a booking for any of these players against the Germans would rule them out of Sunday's final qualifier against Norway in Oslo - which could be a crucial match in terms of securing a seeding for the play-offs next month.

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill has admitted he would love to be in a position to rest certain players but knows against the Germans, regarded as the best team in the world, he will have to select all his key men.

"I think whenever maybe you try to be too clever in these situations it can come back and bite you," conceded Davis, who will win his 98th cap against Germany.

"It's a game that everybody will obviously want to play in. We've got a number of players on bookings and what will be will be, we just have to get on with it I guess.

"It's a difficult one. You never know with the seedings what the result against Norway might affect as well. He's the manager and we're the players, we just get on with the job."

This will be the third time Northern Ireland have played Germany in the last 16 months and after two defeats, 32-year-old Southampton ace Davis is expecting yet another tough and exhausting night against a team who simply don't have a weakness.

Davis admitted: "They just continually test you, their movements to create space for each other, their understanding of the game, they mix the game up. It's a huge task for us and you can learn from them as well."

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