Wednesday , August 17 2022

Davis looks for a positive future after a terrible escape in the League of Nations – Football


Steven Davis believes he has never found such a misfortune as in Northern Ireland in the League of Nations.

Winner Valentino Lazar, who finished Sunday in Australia, on Sunday condemned Michael O'Neill's side to a 2-1 loss in Windsor Park and a fourth defeat in so many excursions in the competition.

This was in spite of some encouraging performances that in Northern Ireland had completely overtaken Bosnia and Herzegovina in the opener, only to be punished by clinical treatment and held themselves home against Austria.

Asked if he could recall another run like that, Davis said, "I think not, in terms of gaining performance we had without the results.

"I definitely had a time when we may not have played well and did not get the results.

"Showing the consistency we have and not getting the results was difficult, but I think the dressing room is still optimistic. We still see a bigger picture."

Michael O'Neill argued after the match that he would forget that the League of Nations "was ever invented," but said it was better to lose the game than when the Euro 2020 qualifying tournaments began in March – sentiment Davis agrees.

"I think you sometimes go to football when you do not get what you deserve," Southampton Middleton said.

"Hopefully this is our bad luck and we can really start.

"We know how important it is to get into a good start in qualifying, so we'll be ready to come in March and be really focused and committed to ensuring that place."

Xaver Schlager fired Austria four minutes into the second half, but Corry Evans's first international goal for eight years brought guests a level eight minutes later and they were on a second attack before Lazar's strike.

"We showed good character again and we did not let them affect," Davis said, lagging behind.

"It was definitely positive – the figure we showed, because it would be easy to drop when we had the results we had and did not get what we thought we deserved.

"But we do not want to get into this thinking to keep talking about performances without achieving results. It's important that we come back to getting results."

Liam Boyce called on Austria's late "kick to know what" but said that Northern Ireland can take the confidence of their recent performances and should go to the qualifiers with positive thinking.

"Of course, we need to tune up a few things, but the results will begin to appear," Burton said.

"It was good to see Michael want us to play, and it's coming to success, and I believe it works even with an increase in quality.

"We just have to concentrate and believe it.

"The more we do, the more we get used to it, and we have to look at everyone with a clean slate chance that qualifies for Euro 2020. We have nothing to lose."

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