Southampton club captain Steven Davis has found first-team minutes hard to come by under Mark Hughes so far this season with so much competition for places in midfield, but his latest display for Northern Ireland suggested he can still play a key role for the south coast outfit.
The 33-year-old has been at St Mary’s for six years having signed when the club returned to the Premier League, and while he has been a regular during that time – he has made 221 appearances for them – he has found game time especially hard to come by in recent months under Mark Hughes, recently admitting his frustrations in an interview via The Daily Mail.
The experienced midfielder failed to make the 18-man squad for the opening two Premier League matches of this term, and while he did make the bench for the clashes against Leicester City and Crystal Palace most recently, he failed to get on to the pitch.
That said, he did play 90 minutes in the Carabao Cup success against Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium last month, and he will hope to break into the starting XI soon even if he does face competition from the likes of Mario Lemina, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Oriol Romeu, James Ward-Prowse and Stuart Armstrong for a spot in the side.
He certainly did his chances no harm in his country’s 2-1 defeat against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Saturday, which was a match they largely dominated despite the scoreline.
Davis rolled back the years as he led his team superbly and showed some real drive and energy in the middle of the park, and as well as producing three shots and two key passes, he also provided six crosses for his teammates from his 86 touches in total, as per WhoScored.com.
The 33-year-old faces a fight to break into a Southampton XI that has improved in recent weeks, but he is showing that he is willing to battle and is right to feel frustrated at a lack of Premier League minutes right now.