THEY are heroes for Northern Ireland’s vocal green and white army.

But David Healy reckons Jordan Jones and Steven Davis will be the men to stop Rangers fans singing the blues.

Northern Ireland legend Healy believes that fellow countrymen Jones and Davis will have a huge say as the Ibrox club try to end Celtic’s dominance of the Scottish game.

Both men are mainstays of Michael O’Neill’s Northern Ireland squad and huge favourites with the crowd at Windsor Park.

Now former Rangers hitman Healy – Northern Ireland’s record goalscorer – is in no doubt that if his old club are to end Celtic’s streak of nine successive domestic trophy successes, his fellow Ulstermen will have to play a starring role.

In the case of Davis, his campaign will be fuelled by a desire to prove the critics wrong.

And if new boy Jones can get out of the blocks quickly then it will be Premiership defences that are running scared.

On former Killie winger Jones – impressive in the 4-0 win over Marseille – Healy said: “Jordan came into the Northern Ireland set-up after I’d stepped away but his performances with us have proved why Rangers signed him.


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“Jordan in full flow is as good as any wide player in Scotland and with his confidence fully restored he’s a danger. It was a difficult six months for him after he announced he was going to Rangers.

“You can tell he’s been desperate to get to Rangers – I just hope he’s not caught in the headlights.

“I’m sure he’ll have spoken to the Northern Irish lads who have played for Rangers.

“One thing you have to do when you sign for Rangers – and I know from my own experience – you have to understand the culture of the football club and that more importantly the demands and expectations.

“I was interested to see Michael O’Neill’s comments that he won’t be one of the big glamour summer signings for Rangers but he could prove to be one of the best.”

In terms of Davis, Healy is a huge admirer and believes that a nightmare start to his second spell at Ibrox could turn out to be the making of his latest stint with Rangers.

Davis pitched up in January after being frozen out at Southampton for five months and his rustiness was there for all to see in early games.

But stung by criticism that painted him as an expensive flop second time around, Davis emerged as one of Rangers’ best players in the final month of the campaign.


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And Healy reckons the fire in Davis’ belly can ignite a title challenge.

The Linfield manager added: “The good thing for Davo is that he will have read and heard all the doubts being expressed and knowing the type of character and person and more importantly the type of player he is he will use that as fuel to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.

“People say that footballers don’t see or hear criticism – of course we do!

“It’s the same for me now as a manager – you hear what people think of you. Davo hasn’t played at the top of the game without having that inner steel.

“I firmly believe that bringing him back will prove to be a big signing for Gerrard.

“I watched one of his early games against Kilmarnock on a disastrous pitch and that wasn’t the Steven Davis that I knew or the one that Steven Gerrard had brought to the club.

“It took him a bit longer to get the fitness back and the last eight games of the season he was Rangers best player.

“I expect him to have a good pre-season and be one of the best players in Scotland again. That’s my aspirations for him.”

One Rangers player who won't play a key role for Gerrard is the enigmatic Kyle Lafferty. Lafferty is an idol with Northern Ireland but has been left idle for much of his second spell at Rangers and is on the way out.


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Healy reckons Lafferty has had chances – but failed to take them.

He added: "If you speak to Kyle he will probably say he he hasn’t done enough when given the opportunity.

“Others will say he wasn’t given enough chances by Gerrard, but I think Kyle had enough chances at Rangers.

“I hope it works out for him if not at Rangers then somewhere he can settle down and get back to doing what Kyle is all about. High energy performances with goals thrown in too.”