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Wednesday 28 September 2016

Steven Davis indifferent to Northern Ireland's controversial new home strip

Published 12/11/2015 | 15:11

Northern Ireland's Steven Davis is unconcerned about debates over the team's new home kit
Northern Ireland's Steven Davis is unconcerned about debates over the team's new home kit

Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis insists getting to Euro 2016 is more important than the shirt players will wear once they are there.

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Many fans were left underwhelmed by the design of the country's new home kit last week, with some unimpressed by the blue sleeves and two-tone horizontal blue stripe joining the traditional green and white colouring.

A petition calling for the shirt to be scrapped has attracted more than 6,000 signatures but the Irish Football Association has reported record pre-sales, boosted by the side's qualification for next summer's finals.

A new away jersey followed on Thursday, predominantly white with a green stripe, and was welcomed with greater warmth.

But Davis, who will don the new home shirt for the first time against Latvia on Friday, believes there are bigger concerns for the squad.

"I don't think it's going to be top priority," he said.

"The kit is not really in the back of our minds to be honest. The main thing for the players is to make sure we're on that plane when it takes off for France."

Only injury could prevent the skipper from lining up in France next summer, but with some squad regulars set to miss out on the final 23-man party, Davis sees a competitive edge in the camp.

"These games are important in our preparation," he said.

"We've talked many times before about momentum in football and we want to keep hitting the standards we set.

"One thing that's definitely improved in the squad over the last campaign is the intensity in training, the competition for places getting stronger...that will continue to be the case because people are going to be desperate to go to the Euros."

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