Irish boss expects tough Russian test in UEFA Championship qualifier
The Republic of Ireland women’s U19 side face Russia tomorrow (Saturday) in their second game of the UEFA Championship, elite qualifying phase and Irish manager, Susan Ronan has told her squad to expect a strong Russian backlash following their 4-0 defeat to Germany on Thursday. Despite defeating Slovakia 3-1, Ronan has urged her players to step up their game if they are to upset the odds at the UEFA Championship qualifiers.
Russia, who won the competition outright in 2005 will be smarting after the 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Germany and with just one team automatically advancing to this summer’s finals in Belarus, Susan Ronan says that her side will need to get something out of the game to keep the group in the balance,
“Even though, we ran out 3-1 winners over Slovakia, we all know that the team weren’t firing on all cylinders but in fairness to the team, the more the game progressed, the players got stronger and the passing movements were much more fluent. We are not expecting anything less than a typical performance from the Russians tomorrow, they have been a big force in Europe at this age group for many years and they will want to make amends for their defeat to Germany on Thursday,” said Ronan.
“I am delighted with the attitude in this very young squad, the morale is very high and on the training field, the girls are always willing to learn. I know that they have so much more to give on the field and I think we will need to up our game by 20% if we are to get something out of the game,” she added.
Speaking about her team selections for the Russia game, the Irish boss said, “I was very pleased with the substitutes that came on against Slovakia, the work rate was second to none and that has certainly given me plenty of food for thought as we may look to freshen up the team and change the system to counteract Russia’s playing style. To put things simply, Russia are no mugs but if we improve our game, I am confident that we can get a result which would certainly make things a lot more interesting in the group standings,” she said.
UEFA Championship – Elite Qualifying Phase fixtures
Thursday, April 23rd
Republic of Ireland 3-1 Slovakia
Saturday, April 25th
Russia v Republic of Ireland
Kick-off: 2.45pm (local time)
Tuesday, April 28th
Germany v Republic of Ireland
Kick-off: 11.00am (local time)
Republic of Ireland Squad
Sinead Crotty - Connecticut Utd. FC
Karen Duggan - Piltown FC
Louise Quinn - Peamount FC (C)
Niamh Mulcahy - Aisling Annacotty
Amanda Parkes - Wilton Utd.
Rebecca Walsh - Salthill Devon
Amy Ryan - Stella Maris
Gillian McDonnell - Dundalk City WFC
Ciara Grant - Lagan Harps
Lillie Billson - Arsenal FC
Megan Campbell - St. Francis
Aisling Dyer – Stella Maris
Susan Hackett - Stella Maris
Anna McCormack - Salthill Devon
Niamh Nolan - St. Francis
Ciara O’Brien - Tramore AFC
Zoe Doherty - Cardonagh
Lucy Hannon – Salthill Devon