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Louise Quinn is set to be fit against Canada tomorrow. INPHO

Louise Quinn set to win fitness race ahead of Canada World Cup showdown

Quinn and Heather Payne sat out during some of today’s pre-match training session, but are expected to be fit to face Canada.

LAST UPDATE | 25 Jul 2023

LOUISE QUINN AND Heather Payne are both expected to be fit and available for selection for tomorrow’s crucial World Cup clash against Canada.

The news will come as a welcome boost to Ireland boss Vera Pauw who had expressed “concern” over Quinn in her pre-match press conference, which took place before training on Tuesday.

Quinn sustained a knock during last week’s opening defeat to Australia, and had been wearing a protective boot on her left foot.

She then took a limited part in Monday’s training session, with Pauw explaining that today’s session at the nearby Dorrien Gardens would effectively act as a fitness test.

She appeared fit in the opening exchanges which Irish media witnessed, and although she did not partake in a small-sided, one-touch game, The 42 understands that she later took part in full contact training and came through with no issues.

Payne, meanwhile, was sporting heavy strapping on her right upper leg due to a tight hamstring and did not partake in the small-sided game, but is not thought to be a concern for Wednesday’s showdown at Perth Rectangular Stadium [KO 1pm Irish / 8pm local time, live on RTÉ 2].

kyra-carusa-and-vera-pauw Vera Pauw and Kyra Carusa at today's press conference. Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

With Group B wide open after Canada’s 0-0 draw with Nigeria and Ireland’s 1-0 defeat to Australia, Pauw does not necessarily see this game as a must-win.

“You know you can only look in the future. It depends, of course, on the results of others but winning starts with not losing.

“That is very cliché but very much true. So if you play a game like this against the Olympic champion, I have to stay realistic and it’s clear that we want to go through this group then we need a result. That’s clear. If we win, we have it in our own hands… if we have a draw, then we’re dependent on other results.”

“Canada is a very, very experienced team and they know how to have patience in getting their results,” Pauw added. “And they often get the results in the later stages.

“That shows that they have to trust to keep on going with a game plan. They have a few exceptional players. [Jessie] Fleming will play tomorrow. [Christine] Sinclair, of course, is a huge threat. And in their teamwork, they’re very experienced. So we are fully aware of this. We hope that we can put something against it.”

Pauw was joined by striker Kyra Carusa in her pre-match press conference, and both said that the travel and entering another timezone has not fazed Ireland, and they are prepared for wet weather in Perth.

They later returned to the Rectangular — or HBF Park, home of Perth Glory — for pitch familiarisation. The Canadians did not partake earlier, with covers on the pitch, presumably due to rain.

Carusa noted that the Australia performance “lit a fire under” the Girls In Green, with the Irish support “undeniable and palpable” – and “the 12th man”.

The US-born player also spoke about the process of trying to be more decisive in front of goal, as the team attempt to end their drought.

“Vera has discussed with me and discussed with us offensively and as a team. It’s always hard to kind of figure out in those moments. You only have a split second to make decisions, but the thing that sticks with me the most is that Vera has really encouraged us to be free and to make those daring decisions – be brave enough to fail, have courage in that, and that is something that really sticks in my head.

“We are an incredibly brave team. I mean you watch us play all the time, we’re fearless and we can’t lose that at this stage.”

- With reporting from Sinéad O’Carroll

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