Club captain approaches milestone
“It’s hard to believe I’m into my sixth season now,” says Steven Davis, as he begins reflecting on a major upcoming milestone in his Southampton career.
The next time the midfielder takes to the pitch for Saints, it will mark his 200th appearance for the club – another reminder of just how successful his move to St Mary’s has proved to be for both parties.
Davis could reach the landmark as soon as Saturday’s trip to Crystal Palace, and it will be a special moment for him when he does.
“It’s obviously a nice milestone to reach,” he says. “It doesn’t seem like so long ago that I was signing for the club, but there’s been a lot of good memories in that time and a lot of progression in the club as well, so it’s a nice milestone, but hopefully there will be many more to come.
“There’s a lot of highlights in my time here. It’s been a real level of progression and even from a few years before I joined there was a real upward trend, with back-to-back promotions and getting into the Premier League.
“I think, first and foremost, it was about staying in the league that year and then trying to build upon that, but I think we believed from our performances in that first season back that we could go on and achieve a lot more.”
Davis’s first appearance in a Saints shirt proved to be a particularly memorable one, as he fired the team into a 2-1 lead away to champions Manchester City on the opening day of the 2012/13 season.
Nigel Adkins’ team would end up being edged out 3-2, but the performance was an indicator of what was to come from both Davis and the rest of the squad.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better start,” he explains, smiling. “I came to the club off the back of a double hernia operation and it took me a little while to get going in pre-season and I came into the first game in the Premier League – Man City away – and it was obviously a real highlight for everyone to go there on the first day of the season.
“We put in a good performance and were disappointed at the end not to come away with something from the game, but that gave us a good platform.”
Saints would finish 14th in that first season back in the top-flight, before going on to secure eighth, seventh, sixth and eighth again in the next four campaigns.
“I think it’s a club that demands progression and gives you a platform – the foundations are there to enable you to better yourself and I think I’ve made that transition with the club as well,” says Davis.
“I think it’s been a good move for both parties. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here and it’s hard to believe I’m into my sixth season now.”
i was hugely proud to be given the captaincy of the club and to lead the team out at wembley.steven davis
saints club captain
There have been plenty of highlights along the way for Davis, with Saints’ league success also twice securing them European football.
But perhaps the proudest moment came when, after being named club captain last season, he led the team out at Wembley in the 2017 EFL Cup final, against Manchester United.
“To beat Liverpool over the two legs, and Longy getting the winning goal up there, it was a massive night for everybody,” he says, thinking back to the famous semi-final success.
“To be able to lead the team out there [at Wembley] – of course, we all came away from it disappointed – but to put in a performance like we did said a lot about the quality we’ve got and it’s left us wanting more definitely, and left us with that bit between our teeth that we want to go and achieve something special.
“I was hugely proud to be given the captaincy of the club and to lead the team out I’ll look back on it with great memories, and hopefully we can go on and achieve a lot more.”