Vera Pau has warned her Ireland squad that they will lose against Slovakia if they fail to bring down the same intensity that the famous win in Finland last month.
auw’s side expects Thursday night’s 2023 Women’s World Cup qualifying performance to include a record crowd with Slovakians selling tickets, suggesting the previous tally of 5,328 will be surpassed, although there are fears That the concern of Kovid will cut the numbers at short notice and there will be no shows.
Ireland are in pole position for a playoff spot after beating Finland in Helsinki, but they need to build on that in a home double-header against Georgia, the two lowest-ranked teams in the group, on Tuesday.
Fourth-seeded Slovakia is the better of the two and lost to top dogs from Sweden and Finland, and Pow is confident her players will survive decently.
“It’s so close, the teams are not far,” she said at her pre-match press conference, where it was confirmed that captain Katie McCabe has been shaken by a leg injury.
“I think this team is so realistic, they understand what our chances are. We have to have the same level of play that we did against Finland to stand a chance of winning.
“We will approach the pitch with the same approach as against Finland. Hopefully we will have more ball but the intensity should be the same. The players are much more aware.
“Can I use a Dutch expression? If you wear pants that are too big, they’ll go all the way down to your ankles. If we behave like we’re bigger than ourselves, we have to deal with it.” There will be problem.
“The players are so focused and keen to execute it. I think we are on the right track.”
Pow says his squad is comfortable getting the extra attention.
“I hope COVID doesn’t make it worse because there were already schools that had to cancel their buses due to COVID rules. We have 6,000 tickets sold out; it’s amazing. Earlier we had to hand over tickets .
“I think the team has a lot of power, a lot of energy and enthusiasm for their game,” she continued, when asked where the interest came from.
“They’re always available. There’s no one who tries to get out of it. They know where they stand but they also know their responsibilities.”