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Steven Davis interview pre fiorentina in the Belfast Telegraph


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Italians just can't Bear us, says Davis

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Steven Davis has insisted Rangers have Fiorentina rattled ahead of their UEFA Cup date with destiny in Italy tonight.

The Northern Ireland midfielder has managed to shake off a groin injury, picked up in Sunday's gruelling Old Firm defeat to Celtic, to take his place in Walter Smith's side for the semi-final second-leg.

With the tie finely balanced at 0-0 following the first leg at Ibrox last week, the Glasgow giants need to pull one more away day rabbit out of their European hat to secure a final date in Manchester next month.

While Rangers have been stuttering in the league in recent weeks with back-to-back defeats to Celtic, their pursuit of UEFA Cup glory remains relentless.

Not everyone has been impressed with their style of play en route to the last four, but does that bother the Light Blues?

Not a chance.

Fiorentina stars Adrian Mutu and Mario Santana have taken a swipe at the Teddy Bears for their performances in the build-up to this evening's clash and Davis insists they may be forced to eat their words.

"I know our performances at home in the UEFA Cup have not gone down well with a few people but we don't care about that," said the Cullybackey man.

"I will be the first one to admit that the first-leg against Fiorentina mustn't have been a great game to watch and the Sporting Lisbon game at Ibrox wasn't much better but it was all about getting the result we needed.

"That was proved by what we did in the second-leg in Lisbon. The pitch there allowed us to play good football and I thought we gave a fantastic performance and deserved to go through.

"We are not a boring team. We know how to play to get results but when we need to turn it on, I'm confident we are able to do that.

"I know a few of the Fiorentina players have said a few things about us in the last few days but that just shows you we have them worried.

"They know they didn't cause us many problems at Ibrox and they will be well aware what we have done in previous rounds.

"Our success has been built on not conceding at home then finishing the job away from home and that's exactly what we plan to do this time.

"We've done extremely well to get where we are; the last thing we want to do is fall at the final hurdle before the final."

Rangers will be without several key players for tonight's encounter including defender David Weir who limped out of the 3-2 defeat to Celtic at the weekend.

But midfielders Barry Ferguson and Kevin Thomson return after serving one-game bans in the first-leg.

Davis, on loan from Fulham, knows the Italians will be confident of making the final but insists Rangers will have a plan of their own.

He added: "There's no doubt they will be coming out to hit us with everything; they have to score to win the tie.

"But we will be properly prepared again and we are always confident of scoring.

"It's not going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination but if we concentrate on doing what we do well and play to our strengths then there is no reason why we want to give our fans another European night to remember."


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