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Sunday 11 December 2016

Steven Davis finds positives in defeat to world champions Germany

Published 11/10/2016 | 22:21

Northern Ireland to wear black armbands to mark Armistice Day
Northern Ireland to wear black armbands to mark Armistice Day

Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis believes his side can hold their heads high despite going down to a 2-0 defeat to Germany in their World Cup qualifier in Hanover.

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The game was as good as over inside 17 minutes as Germany scored twice through Julian Draxler and Sami Khedira, and at that stage a potential mauling looked on the cards for Northern Ireland.

However, Michael O'Neill's men not only prevented the world champions from adding to their lead, they also created some chances to score themselves, and Davis was proud of his team's effort.

The Southampton midfielder told Sky Sports 1: " Clearly it was a very difficult night, they are a very difficult side to play against.

"Obviously we gave ourselves a bit of a mountain to climb at 2-0. You're not going to come here and score three goals away from home.

"So you've got to be realistic but I think the positives are we managed to show pride, we kept digging in to the very end, kept going, and it's no embarrassment losing here."

Defender Jonny Evans echoed those thoughts, saying: "After 20 minutes the game is sort of gone, it's a very difficult team to come back.

"I thought towards the end of the game we just had to show a bit of pride and try and play a bit more and express ourselves, and I thought we did that a bit in the second half."

Manager O'Neill added: "I couldn't have asked any more of the players.

"In the second half we defended well. We ran out of legs a little bit to threaten them but at the end of the day we said if we could take anything here it would be a huge bonus.

"We've been beaten 2-0 but I think that whatever happens I don't see any of the other teams coming here and winning, so it's far from a disaster and now we have to look forward to the next game against Azerbaijan."

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