Captain Steven Davis knows Northern Ireland must beat Azerbaijan in World Cup qualifier
Steven Davis knows only a win will do against Azerbaijan in their World Cup qualifier at Windsor Park.
Last Updated: 14/11/12 9:59am
The hosts will be expected to win against a side ranked 123rd in the world, though an inconsistent start to their Group F campaign suggests things may not be so straightforward.
Michael O'Neill's men began with defeat in Russia before a disappointing home draw against minnows Luxembourg.
However, that frustration was partly offset by a hard-earned draw away at Portugal last month, a game Davis is hoping the team can build on.
"They will see this as a chance to get some points on the board a well and I'm sure there'll be chances for both teams," said the Southampton midfielder.
"But we had a big boost from the result in Portugal and this is a game we look forward to. We need to go and get those three points.
"Azerbaijan set the team up well against Russia and frustrated them for a long period. They might do the same again but it's up to us to stamp our authority on the game and get some goals."
Davis did voice some caution though, with the result against Luxembourg still fresh in their minds.
"We know what we are capable of and we are confident of three points," added Davis. "But as always, we are Northern Ireland and we can't take liberties. We have to give 100% to get a result."
The Portugal draw is the undoubted high point of boss O'Neill's short reign in charge so far.
The 43-year-old has presided over three wins and three defeats since leaving Shamrock Rovers to take on the role last December.
With no international fixture after this until March, O'Neill concedes he is desperate to grab his first win to avoid and long and frustrating wait for the next opportunity.
"I'm desperate to get my first win as manager and to get the first win with this group of players," said the former Newcastle and Dundee United midfielder.
"The players can move on very quickly, they go back to their clubs and refocus so it's probably the manager that carries a bad result around longer; I don't have another game to get it out of my system.
"It's hugely important that we start winning games now. We have a four-month break (between qualifiers) after this game and you want to go into that break on the back of a positive result and a positive performance.
"If we don't it will be a long three months for me."