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Harriet Scott calls for cool heads ahead of crunch qualifier against Montenegro


Republic of Ireland's Harriet Scott. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Republic of Ireland's Harriet Scott. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile


Republic of Ireland's Harriet Scott. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Ireland's senior women's team need to be ready to deal with frustration if they are to get the better of Montenegro tomorrow and go top of their group table, however briefly.

That's the view of key player Harriet Scott as Vera Pauw's side prepare for their latest test in Euro 2021 qualification, away to Montenegro (Wednesday, 3pm).

An away win would see Ireland leapfrog group leaders Germany, though the Germans would have a game in hand ahead of their home tie with Ireland next month.

Germany have breezed through the campaign, scoring 31 goals without reply in four games, but the group has been more of a battle for the Irish side.

Apart from a 2-0 home win over Montenegro, the other games have all been filled with tension and nerves: one-goal margin home wins over Greece and Ukraine, and a frustrating 1-1 draw in Greece.

Montenegro have yet to score in three games in this group and lost seven of their last nine but Scott is still wary of what can happen.

"The way they played against us here was kind of similar to Greece, in that they sat off us a little bit and we had to break them down," says the Birmingham City full-back.

"But I think we need to make sure we don't get frustrated, to make sure we keep our frustrations from everything else and actually use the creative players we have, like Ruesha [Littlejohn], Denise [O'Sullivan], Clare Shine when she is on, Amber [Barrett], and allow those players to give us chances.

"We need to keep moving it, be patient but do things with a purpose. That's the main thing," Scott added.

Four points from six against Greece was a decent haul, and six from six is the demand against Montenegro, but Scott is nervous despite their recent form.

"We can't underestimate any team. I think any team in the group, you can see that they can get results," she added.

"Any team in the group is potentially a banana skin that you could slip up on. We just need to make sure the job we are doing is the job we set ourselves throughout the week.

"We'll be fully invested in the game, we'll be fully trying to make sure we can make the most out of it and get the three points we need to get, come home and be happy.

"But we need to concentrate and that's what we are doing now."

Irish Independent