Louise Quinn says that the Irish players have been impressed by the little they have seen of new Ireland manager Vera Pauw so far and remain convinced the team can qualify for the European Championships, despite Germany - top seeds in their qualifying group - having steamrolled the two sides they have played so far.
Quinn was, along with Katie McCabe and Diane Caldwell, one of three senior internationals to sit down with Pauw the day after the 2-0 qualifying defeat of Montenegro achieved under Tom O'Connor, and says the Dutch coach made a positive impression with her analysis of the Irish performance and the aspects of it she felt might be improved upon.
"She talked us through stuff," said the Arsenal defender at an event, promoted in conjunction with the 20x20 initiative, which is hoped might help attract a record attendance to the team's next game - at home to Ukraine on October 8th (tickets at fai.ie/ireland/tickets).
“She showed us what she’s capable of doing, what’s she done with other teams and what some of her initial ideas for us are.
“It sounded really positive; very simple but hopefully very effective. She seems to organise teams very well, finds the strengths of players rather than taking things too far. Obviously, you have to get out of a comfort zone but it’s important to find what we’re good at and get that to click.”
“Until we have a training session together, it’s hard to know for sure but she just seems to be very, very organised. When we were talking to her she was talking about the Montenegro game and you could just see that she was tuned in already, about how, maybe we could have played it a bit differently, how we could have used different players in a different way.”
Quinn is enthusiastic too about the appointment of Eileen Gleeson, a former manager of hers at Peamount United, as Pauw's assistant. "She's a brilliant coach who is so into the game," said the defender. "She's intelligent and sees things that other people don't. She's going to be a brilliant pair of eyes for Vera. That dynamic of two very strong headed intelligent coaches that are very into the game will benefit us."
They may well have their work cut out. The winners of each group qualif automatically for the finals along with the three best runners-up, and Germany have kicked off their campaign by beating Montenegro and second seeds, Ukraine, by a combined 18 goals.
“We are (still) going to go into this group wanting to win it and ultimately to qualify. If that means that we come first or second (which might also mean a play-off) then we want that but we know that we have to get results from every team and that includes Germany.
“Yes, they had a great start but at the same time it’s still just two games that they have won. We’ve won one and we are hopefully going to keep that 100 per cent record so this Ukraine game is a very big one for us.
“But I don’t think the Germans like playing us now either; I have a couple of Germany team mates (at Arsenal) and they know that we have a bit about us; they know that we are really good defensively and that we have really improved in our attacking phase of play with so many girls in the English league right now. They see the talent we have there now.”