Belfast Telegraph

Sunday Life

‘No excuses’ for missed penalty against Netherlands, says Northern Ireland skipper Steven Davis

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill, who has managed his last home game at Windsor Park, pictured with team captain Steven Davis after the game finished 0-0. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill, who has managed his last home game at Windsor Park, pictured with team captain Steven Davis after the game finished 0-0. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill, who has managed his last home game at Windsor Park, pictured with team captain Steven Davis after the game finished 0-0. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Northern Ireland's Steven Davis misses his penalty after Netherlands' Joel Veltman uses his arm to control the ball during Saturday night's UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast, Northern Ireland - 16th November 2019 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Steven Davis misses his penalty after Netherlands' Joel Veltman uses his arm to control the ball during Saturday nights UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis takes a penalty which he fails to score as Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk looks on. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Pacemaker Belfast 16-11-19 Northern Ireland v Netherlands - Euro 2020 Qualifier Northern Ireland's Steven Davis misses a penalty during this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 16th November 2019 UEFA EURO 2020 Qualifier Group C. Northern Ireland Vs Netherlands at the National Stadium at Windsor Park, Belfast. Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis takes a penalty which he fails to score at NetherlandsÕ captain Virgil van Dijk looks on. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Pacemaker - Belfast - -16/11/2019. Northern Ireland v Holland Euro 2020 Qualifier Windsor Park Belfast Netherland's Virgil van Dijk contests the ref penalty decision In tonight"s game At Windsor Park Photo Desmond Loughery/Pacemaker Press
Netherlands goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen saves a shot the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying match at Windsor Park, Belfast. PA Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 16, 2019. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wireduring the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying match at Windsor Park, Belfast. PA Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 16, 2019. See PA story SOCCER N Ireland. Photo credit should read: Liam McBurney/PA Wire.
Pacemaker Belfast 16-11-19 Northern Ireland v Netherlands - Euro 2020 Qualifier Northern Ireland's manager Michael O'Neill during this evening's game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Belfast, Northern Ireland - 16th November 2019 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Bailey Peacock-Farrell during Saturday nights UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast, Northern Ireland - 16th November 2019 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland's Corry Evans with Netherlands' Davy Propper during Saturday nights UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 16th November 2019-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland Bailey Peacock-Farrell against Netherlands during Saturday's EURO 2020 Qualifier at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park. Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans with Netherlands' Jasper Cillessen during Saturday nights UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Northern Ireland's Josh Magennis during Saturday night's UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier against the Netherlands at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Pacemaker - Belfast - -16/11/2019. Northern Ireland v Holland Euro 2020 Qualifier Windsor Park Belfast Northern Ireland Josh Magennis shot just past the post In tonight"s game At Windsor Park Photo Desmond Loughery/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Belfast, Northern Ireland - 16th November 2019 - Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Northern Ireland with Netherlands during Saturday nights UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Northern Ireland manager Micheal O'Neill with Chris Brunt before Saturday night's UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier against Netherlands at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 16th November 2019 UEFA EURO 2020 Qualifier Group C. Northern Ireland Vs Netherlands at the National Stadium at Windsor Park, Belfast. Northern Ireland fans Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 16th November 2019 UEFA EURO 2020 Qualifier Group C. Northern Ireland Vs Netherlands at the National Stadium at Windsor Park, Belfast. Northern Ireland fans Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Pacemaker - Belfast - -16/11/2019. Northern Ireland v Holland Euro 2020 Qualifier Windsor Park Belfast Dutch fan In tonight"s game At Windsor Park Photo Desmond Loughery/Pacemaker Press

By Steven Beacom at Windsor Park

Northern Ireland skipper Steven Davis said he had no excuses for his penalty miss against Holland.

The Rangers star added that the reaction of the home fans when they sang his name, after he blazed a first half spot kick over the bar in the scoreless draw, meant a lot to him.

Davis has been a shining light for the Northern Ireland side since his debut in 2005. Last night he won his 116th cap and had a golden opportunity in the 30th minute to give Michael O’Neill’s side the lead in the Euro 2020 qualifier.

Such a reliable figure down the years, uncharacteristically the 34-year-old smashed off target.

Asked about the penalty miss, Davis said: "I watched clips before the game and I thought he (Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen) went quite early so the idea was to hit it down the middle and I hit it a little bit too much down the middle.

"It was a huge disappointment because it was a great opportunity to get us in front."

Cillessen and the Dutch players had delayed the penalty being taken but true to form Davis took responsibility saying: "That’s all part of the game. No excuses from me. I didn’t feel in my head that any of that affected me. Unfortunately, I just put too much on it."

Sign In

Seconds after the penalty, the Green and White Army roared the midfielder’s name.

"That meant a lot to be fair. I’ve always given my all to my country every time I’ve gone out there to play through difficult times and the good times in the last few years. I very much appreciated that reaction from our fans.

"I had to get on with the game after the penalty and not to get the win was a big disappointment because we all wanted that big result and a big scalp to take it into the final game. Unfortunately, we couldn’t do it."

Manager Michael O’Neill, in a show of togetherness with his skipper, walked off the pitch hugging Davis after the 0-0 draw.

161119JP1NI038.jpg
Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill, who has managed his last home game at Windsor Park, pictured with team captain Steven Davis after the game finished 0-0. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

"Michael didn’t say anything to me," said Davis.

"We didn’t need any words. If this was to be Michael’s last game at Windsor Park — obviously we don’t know where we will be playing in the play-offs — I would loved to have got that big win for him but unfortunately we missed it."

While O’Neill is definitely on his way at some stage, having been appointed manager of Stoke earlier this month, there are also fears that this could be the final campaign for Davis.

Quizzed on that, the Northern Ireland great said: "I want to try and enjoy my football for as long as possible. I still very much enjoy coming away with the international team and playing in front of the fans. That’s not really on my mind at the moment."

What is on his mind is Germany on Tuesday in Frankfurt and the play-offs in March.

"We are disappointed now but we will look back on this match and take a lot of positives from it and whatever way the Germany game ends up on Tuesday we will look forward to the play-offs after that."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph