'James McClean poppy abuse won't carry over to Aviva clash' - Steven Davis
NORTHERN Ireland midfielder Steven Davis is expecting a “hard edge” when his side tackle the Republic in Dublin tomorrow night.
And after members of both squads visited Crumlin Children's Hospital on Tuesday, the midfielder doesn't expect James McClean to receive more abuse for his controversial refusal to wear a poppy in England this month.
“I don't think it is going to carry into this game,” says the Southampton man. “James has done well for the Republic. There will be an edge to this game because it is like a local derby.
“The players are familiar with each other, there will be an edge to the game and both teams will be desperate to win given the results both teams have had over the recent months.
“They've got a lot of good players, Shane Duffy carries a threat in the box. We won't be singling out too many. Both sides are evenly-matched.
“It's really important we get some results from the games. Our performances have deserved more. There are a lot of things we have done well and this is another opportunity for us as a team.
“We need to get as much belief as we can before the Euros. We're on the right path but it's important we get results along the way.”