Former Celtic midfielder Charlie Nicholas has raved over Rangers playmaker Steven Davis as he prepares to lead his country Northern Ireland into two crucial games in Euro 2020 qualifying.
Davis’ men are on the back foot as they prepare to host the Netherlands on Saturday night, having suffered late heartbreak against the same opponents in the last international break.
Nicholas told Sky Sports: “Northern Ireland were sitting with a golden ticket in Netherlands last month, but they lost a late equaliser and then a sucker punch for defeat. The Dutch are good but moody – the atmosphere in Belfast will be in your face. They will be led by Steven Davis, who has been having a very good season in Glasgow.
“He is the guy who needs to get on the ball and make things happen. The Dutch know they need something from the game. Northern Ireland have Germany up next in their last game, so it is plain as anything can be. They must win this football match first and foremost.”
TBR’s View – Davis thrives on the responsibility at international level
Davis is viewed as such a leader at international level and with Michael O’Neill leaving to join Stoke as well as the Rangers man approaching his twilight years, there’s a feeling that this weekend represents his final chance to lead Northern Ireland to another tournament, on the back of Euro 2016.
He thrives on that responsibility though and will not be cowed by the prospect of trying to get a win at home to the Nations League finalists who boast the likes of Frenkie de Jong and Gini Wijnaldum in their ranks.