Republic of Ireland head coach Vera Pauw believes the Republic of Ireland is primed for their World Cup qualifier against Finland. As women’s football took the center stage they were forced to watch from afar after narrowly missing out on qualification. They have improved leaps and bounds since then and recently achieved the highest world ranking in their history of 26.
“It’s fantastic. I think it was within 30 minutes that the stadium was sold out. And that’s the first ever [time]. The biggest crowd we had was just over 5,000. So now in 30 minutes, to have the whole stadium packed is amazing and fantastic,” Republic of Ireland head coach Vera Pauw said. “Probably two sides; we have earned that, but it was also during the Euros, all the hype of the Euros. We are so happy that that comes together. And the crowd will support us.”
“This squad is special. We played in front of a big crowd in Sweden, a big crowd in Finland. Everybody was saying, ‘Will this brings up the pressure for them?’,” she added. “But I’ve never seen a team responding so well on different circumstances than this team. They are so focused, they really know what they are doing on the pitch. We’ll see if that’s good enough.”
“We have earned this position. So why would you neglect it? This is what we earned over the last few years. Not the two years that I have been in charge but going back over 20 years. In 2008, this team qualified for a play-off for the Euros – Áine O’Gorman was already in that squad at the age of 16!” she continued. “This team has grown step by step by step by step. And now we are in a position where everybody expects something from us. We know what we want. We have found our limits.”
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