Davis upbeat despite defeat

01 March 2012 04:17

Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis was not too disheartened despite a 3-0 reverse against Norway in Michael O'Neill's first match in charge of the side.

O'Neill had only two full days with his squad ahead of the game, during which he reintegrated the likes of Dean Shiels, Shane Ferguson and Michael Duff to the international set-up and made the decision to move Jonny Evans from left-back to his preferred centre-half position.

Davis said: "It's still early days under Michael, we've only had a couple of training sessions and I thought that was evident. We were unlucky with the first goal and we were maybe cut open towards the end, but there are a lot of positives to take from it."

The match also saw Davis' predecessor as captain, Aaron Hughes, return for an 80th cap after O'Neill successfully lobbied him to reverse his retirement.

Hughes decided to end his international career at the end of the Euro 2012 campaign but has now recommitted to the cause for the next two years.

His comeback was a low-key affair with the focus on O'Neill, but the Fulham man was happy to keep it that way.

"I enjoyed it, that's why I came back," he said.

"It's good that I have got that over and done with and I was more than happy to do just that. I didn't want any fuss, I just wanted to go out and play and get on with it.

"There were more important things to focus on, with a new manager, new way of playing, new ideas and everything."

Source: PA