Northern Ireland boss Ian Baraclough has rubbished suggestions that Rangers star Steven Davis could retire from international football after withdrawing from the squad for last night’s clash with Romania due to personal reasons.

The veteran is Northern Ireland’s most capped player and speculation grew over his future after he pulled out of the squad for the Windsor Park fixture.

Rangers Northern Ireland v Austria - UEFA Nations League

(Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Baraclough though insists he’s not seen anything that suggests Davo is ready to call it quits and blamed the media for sparking the rumours of his imminent retirement.

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“The only people that have mentioned stuff like that is guys like yourself in the media. There’s where the speculation is coming from, Baraclough said, speaking to Sky Sports [via The Sun].

“All the conversations I have had with everyone in the group is very positive. The World Cup starts in March and it will be over in nine months

“It’s the quickest, shortest qualification period that there ever has been.

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“We’ve been involved in two play-offs now for major competitions and fell at the final hurdle.

 

“There is still a hunger from the lads and the senior lads are there at the front driving it on.

“So no, I don’t see anything that tells me that Steven Davis is ready to not play.”

Davis recently became Northern Ireland’s most-capped player and has shown remarkable commitment across the 15 years since making his international debut against Canada in 2005.

He’s also been a key performer for Steven Gerrard since returning for a second spell at Ibrox in January 2019 and it’s unclear if he’ll miss any action for the Light Blues.

Whatever the reason for Davis’ departure from the Northern Ireland squad, we look forward to him doing what he does best for club and country as soon as possible.

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