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Northern Ireland match 'has come at the right time' for Saints' Steven Davis
4:39pm Tuesday 14th August 2012 in Sport
SAINTS midfielder and Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis has promised a ''hungry'' performance in tomorrow night's friendly against Finland.
Davis, who inherited the armband from Aaron Hughes when Michael O'Neill took over as manager, was one of over a dozen first-choice players who missed the 6-0 defeat against Holland in June but is back to lead the side out at Windsor Park.
While O'Neill was frustrated by the events in Amsterdam - both the timing of the fixture and the depleted squad he was forced to take into it - he has a much stronger party to choose from against Finland.
Central defender Hughes, Celtic winger Paddy McCourt and uncapped Liverpool teenager Ryan McLaughlin have withdrawn from the initial squad due to injury, joining Manchester United's Jonny Evans, but Northern Ireland are otherwise at full-strength and Davis has promised the team will be on their mettle.
''Holland was always going to be a difficult game, the Dutch are a great side,'' he said.
''But this a good opportunity to build a bit of confidence, play the way we want to and get a good result.
''It's a good opportunity to come back and play at Windsor and it's the last match before the competitive games start.
''Everything is aimed towards the World Cup qualifiers but for now we're focused on the next couple of days.
''It will be a hungry squad and everyone is looking forward to the game.''
The game also offers a chance for Davis to get some much-needed game time in his legs ahead of his maiden season with Southampton .
The midfielder left troubled Rangers this summer after the drawn-out demotion to the bottom tier of Scottish football and is now preparing to test himself in the Barclays Premier League .
He admits he is not quite at peak fitness yet, but hopes a strong showing against the Finns can do him some good.
''For me personally this match comes at the right time,'' he said.
''I missed a big chunk of pre-season and I only started training in the last 10 days, so this is a good time for me.''
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