Ireland must make a statement against Sweden in tonight’s World Cup qualifier at Tallaght Stadium tonight (19.00), regardless of the result, according to veteran defender Louise Quinn.
The Birmingham City star gave a masterful performance when he dampened Sam Kerr’s threats during the recent 3-2 win over Australia.
However, she admits that both she and her Irish teammates will need to raise their performance levels again against the star-studded Swedes, silver medalists at the recent Olympics.
“It will be a statement to the group and a statement about us if we make another top performance,” Quinn insisted.
“Obviously we hope to do that, and we want the result to go our way, but for us it is about building on what we did against Australia and not losing a level again.”
With Tallaght at half capacity due to Covid restrictions, all 4,000 tickets have been sold for Ireland’s first competition trip in almost a year against a Swedish team that already has two victories in Group A and scored five goals without conceding.
However, Quinn is confident that Ireland can replicate last month’s display against the Aussies and even raise it to another level.
“Essentially we have to go out and enjoy it again. The Australia match was just so much fun.
“I did not feel they would score in the second half even with these waves of pressure. They played those long balls against Sam Kerr and we could handle it. I think it’s a good way to feel for things that go into a game.It gives you confidence, added the midfielder.
“I think a similar performance as in Australia would go a long way to making a statement. It has to be up to that level. Of course there will be a change in tactics in some ways but in our intensity, how we pushed, how we created chances. It must be all teams, but against Sweden you really have to transform those chances. ‘
Quinn feels that Ireland has reached a critical stage in its development and growth under manager Vera Pauw, as they are familiar with their style.
‘I think it’s incredibly important to know what our style is, to know what we’re doing and to be able to change it up in the form of a couple of positions or change the formation, and it builds confidence. When you know what you’re doing, it’s easier to get things moving and I think you can see that. ‘
Quinn was impressed by the confidence of his name Lucy Quinn during his international debut against Australia, and even took a free kick from Katie McCabe at one stage, and also Heather Payne’s match intelligence when it came to making support runs in the Irish attack.
Sweden will offer another challenge, but she is convinced that Ireland can start the campaign in a positive way.
“What we did (against Australia) will create a lot of fear in the bigger teams. It’s about what we do on the day, we can not rest on what we did. We really have to be ready again,” Quinn said.
Sweden will be without their legendary midfielder Caroline Seger, Europe’s most played player with 223 international caps, but Everton’s Hanna Bennison will probably step into what will be a quality line-up.
But if Louise Quinn is a guide, Ireland is convinced to make it difficult for the Swedes tonight.