Vera Pauw is “a bit concerned” about Louise Quinn’s fitness as the Republic of Ireland look to put a losing start in the Women’s World Cup behind them against Canada.
A 1-0 defeat against tournament co-hosts Australia in Sydney last week was compounded by Quinn suffering a foot injury, with the defender touch and go to face the Olympic champions in Perth on Wednesday.
She lightly trained on Monday and was put through her paces in their final practice session on Tuesday, but Pauw revealed “plan B is ready” should Quinn unexpectedly fail her fitness test.
“We’re a bit concerned but we think that she can play,” the Ireland head coach told a press conference. “It’s an injury that is not very straightforward and it’s relying on how she reacts (during) training. Plan B is ready.”
The Girls in Green go into their next match knowing a defeat would spell the end of their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages in their historic maiden World Cup campaign.
“Winning starts with not losing,” Pauw said. “If you play a game like this against an Olympic champion, I have to stay realistic but it’s clear that if we want to go through in this group, we need a result.
“If we win, we have it in our own hands. If we have a draw then we depend on other results.
“Canada is a very, very experienced team and they know how to have patience in getting their results. They often get their results in the later stages so that shows they have the trust to keep on going.”
But Kyra Carusa feels Ireland can take heart from their battling performance against Australia, where they rallied after Steph Catley’s second-half penalty without being able to find a way through.
“Those last few minutes of the Australia game did light a fire under us and show this 90-plus minutes that we have in us and the dangers we have in us throughout an entire game,” Carusa said.
“That’s definitely something we take away from that game. We are reliable and have that endurance and longevity to make sure we come up with a result at any minute in the game.”