Davis eyes fast start
By Lewis Rutledge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Steven Davis is keen for Northern Ireland to make a winning start against Iceland.
Steven Davis has declared himself fit and raring to go for Northern Ireland's Euro 2008 qualifier against Iceland.
The 21-year-old missed Northern Ireland's last game, a friendly victory over Finland, with a thigh strain.
He has played for Aston Villa since then though and is certain to start against Iceland on Saturday.
"At the time the injury was disappointing because the new manager at Villa (Martin O'Neill) had just come in," he said.
"I only had a couple of weeks' training before the season started but the manager has shown faith in me.
"It has been good to play in the last three games and I have got my fitness back."
Davis believes that Northern Ireland are starting to progress nicely under Lawrie Sanchez, and is confident of taking three points from the game against Iceland.
"We are moving in the right direction and people are feeling positive," he enthused.
"There is a lot of optimism around the place but we cannot be complacent.
"It is important we go out and do our best on the pitch."
The inexperienced Sammy Clingan looks set to keep his place in midfield following a solid display against Finland, and Davis has backed him to make an impact this weekend.
"I have played alongside Sammy with the Under-21 team and know he is a good player," Davis remarked.
"We had an understanding then and worked off each other.
"If Sammy gets his chance against Iceland, he will make a contribution, I am sure of that."
Clingan is hoping to get the nod, claiming that a place in the starting XI would the best moment of his career to date.
"I am not taking anything for granted as there is competition throughout the squad," he stressed.
"Everyone has to be on their toes. If I did get picked it would be the highlight of my career."