With the pressure off their shoulders heading to Gothenburg on April 12, Louise Quinn has warned Sweden that Ireland are capable of seizing upon complacency.
Europe’s highest-ranked team in Fifa's standings are powering towards a flawless eight-game World Cup qualifying campaign having already racked up five straight wins.
Their victory over Ireland in October was only a slender one; the Tallaght tussle decided by an unfortunate own-goal from Quinn.
Stina Blackstenius, who whipped in the cross for that winner, recently became their latest star to join a superpower by choosing Arsenal over Manchester United but Ireland won’t travel with any fear.
Quinn has cited the recent win by her basement Birmingham City side over Women’s Super League leaders Arsenal as an example Ireland can take motivation from.
Vera Pauw’s Girls in Green currently edge Finland in the chase for the runners-up spot, a pathway into the 2023 tournament’s playoffs, and anything they can extract from the Swedes would constitute bonus territory.
Of greater importance is seeing off lower seeds Georgia and Slovakia, while avoiding defeat against the Finns in Dublin, on the campaign run-in. That yield, unless Finland shock the Swedes, would copperfasten the playoff prize for Ireland.
“The last three are the games we’re expected to get points from but Sweden only beat us at home by a crap goal,” said the defender.
“We’ve shown that we can cope against those major nations. The experience playing bigger games against the likes of Sweden, Australia, and Denmark over the past year has done us the world of good.
“Personally, even us beating Arsenal last week shows that these things, anything, can happen in football.
“If Sweden are having an off day and we’re on it, it’s there for us. We’re not expected to win and that takes the pressure off but we love games like that against the Olympic silver medallists.
“We can put it to them again. You could see that in the last 10 minutes at Tallaght, when they put on extra defenders to try to stop us from scoring, they considered us a threat. We want to bring that to them again.”
Pauw will assemble her squad for a friendly camp next month, likely in Spain, to focus minds on the trip to Scandinavia.
Quinn could be one of seven Ireland internationals representing Brum, with goalkeeper Marie Hourihane and defender Harriett Scott joined by Jamie Finn, Eleanor Ryan-Doyle and Emily Whelan last summer. That was around the same time as English-born Lucy Quinn finalised the paperwork to join the camp.
“Eleanor said something in a meeting yesterday that no-one understood apart from myself, Jamie and Emily,” the club captain explained. “Our coaches were like, ‘What?’ but we knew exactly what she said. That brings a little piece of home for us.”
- Louise Quinn joined David Meyler to launch the 2022 Spar FAI Primary School 5s Programme, Ireland’s largest grassroots football programme. Register for the SPAR5s by March 4th at www.fai.ie/SPARPrimarySchool5s .