Ireland’s U19 side take on Azerbaijan tonight in their second Uefa Elite Phase European Championship qualifiers (Tallaght Stadium, kick-off 7.30pm).
Dave Connell’s team narrowly lost 1-0 to Germany in their Group 1 opener at Tallaght Stadium but a positive performance has left midfielder Jessica Gargan enthused about bouncing back.
Former Peamount United ace Gargan, now based in the US at Quinnipiac University, insists Ireland can overcome their next opponent and get back in the mix for reaching this summer’s finals.
“We were disappointed with the loss to Germany and I know a lot of people will say losing 1-0 to them is good, but we felt we could have got something from the game as we put them under a lot of pressure,” said Gargan.
“We will take a lot of positives from that game - particularly from the second-half when we changed our formation and pressed them high. But we move on now with the belief that we can take three points.”
Gargan was part of ‘The History Girls’ squad in 2014 that reached the Uefa European semi-finals, so she knows what it takes to join the elite teams at the top level.
It is why the 19-year-old is adamant this squad can get past Azerbaijan tonight and Poland on Sunday. Why? Because they are a team on and off the pitch.
“We have been together as a group for five or six years now, so we know each other inside out. We have each other’s back and if someone falls down there will be someone to pick them back up,” said Gargan.
“This next game is huge for us. We know what we have to do and everyone in the squad believes that we can win it - we just have to go out there and do it.”
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