Vera Pauw has demanded that her side go all out for victory against Finland next September to avoid a repeat of the last-gasp agony that cost them European Championship qualification in 2020.
After matching the international side’s best ever away win, with a 9-0 trouncing of hapless Georgia in Gori, the Dutchwoman wants to have her side’s destiny confirmed before they travel to Slovakia on September 6th.
Ireland are now in control of their play-off destiny but, during the last campaign, a calamitous defeat in Ukraine in their penultimate match cost them dearly.
“We need to beat Finland, that is our true belief because otherwise it goes to the last game and we all know what can happen there,” said Pauw, after watching a hat-trick from Katie McCabe contribute to a facile win.
“If you go for a draw, it gives the last minute outcome a chance. We want to press forward, perhaps as a compact group, and we will need to be deeper against Finland, but we will be on the front foot.”
Should Ireland complete their campaign with two wins, they may also benefit from a friendlier play-off route, avoiding the complexities of a convoluted round-robin.
“We are trying to finish as strong as possible in the group, because obviously if we finish high up that’s good for the play-off stages and we might skip a round in the play-offs,” added player of the match Megan Connolly.
“We want to win every game now. We have two massive games coming in September, so hopefully we can do that.”