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Friday 15 December 2017

North future is rosy says Davis

Rangers midfielder Steve Davis believes Northern Ireland have enough good youngsters coming through to justify an optimistic outlook.

A makeshift side went down 1-0 to Albania in a friendly last night following a superb free-kick from Ervin Skela in the 25th minute.

Nigel Worthington's side went close to equalising, Stephen Craigan twice seeing efforts coming back off the woodwork.

It was the introduction of Manchester United midfielder Corry Evans that provided the spark in the second half. He arrived in Albania on the day of the match after captaining the U21 side the previous evening when they beat San Marino 3-0.

Davis said: "If there were any positives to take from that game then it was the performances of our young players.

"Andrew Little and Ryan McGivern were good and I thought Corry Evans did really well when he came on."



Levein relief at Scotland goal

Craig Levein has revealed pre-match nerves ahead of his first game as Scotland manager were the reason for his lack of celebrations when Scott Brown grabbed the winner against the Czech Republic last night.

The Celtic skipper netted the only goal to hand Levein victory in his maiden outing as national team boss -- and give the Scots their first friendly win at Hampden in 14 years.

When asked about a lack of emotion when the ball hit the back of the net with just over an hour gone, the Scotland boss admitted: "To be honest, I've been very nervous for the last couple of days.

"The last couple of days I've felt more nervous than I would normally. When we scored, it was more relief than anything else."



Toshack silent on Bellamy role

The thorny subject of Craig Bellamy's international career overshadowed Wales' latest efforts after they were beaten 1-0 by Sweden last night.

Bolton's Johan Elmander grabbed the only goal of a low-key international friendly at Swansea's Liberty Stadium on the stroke of half-time.

Yet it was City striker Bellamy who commanded most attention after the match, as manager John Toshack refused to answer questions about his absence.

Toshack's failure to state if Bellamy would return for the start of Euro 2012 qualifying in September has led to speculation.

When asked what his position with Bellamy was, Toshack said: "No comment whatsoever."

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