Katie McCabe: ‘This is the level we have to be at’ to qualify for major tournaments

Speaking after her Republic of Ireland side fell to defeat against England at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on Tuesday, Katie McCabe reflected on the quality needed to progress to major tournaments. The Girls in Green have emerged on the losing side of their first two EURO2025 qualifiers, leaving Eileen Gleeson’s side rooted to the bottom of Group A3.

‘We’re in a group with three of the top five teams in the world [and] playing against the European Champions tonight, we knew it was going to be difficult,’ McCabe expressed, ‘but if we want to be playing at this level and qualifying for tournaments, then this is the level we have to be at. It was tough but we need to keep pushing.’

32,742 fans made their way through the turnstiles on Tuesday evening, and McCabe was keen to praise the fans for making the effort because ‘it’s not an easy thing to do midweek.’

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‘Singing the anthem in front of 32,000 on a Tuesday night is really, really special and it was incredible,’ she continued. ‘It’s not an easy thing to do midweek, people are travelling and kids are in school but we really appreciate all of the support from the fans for sure.’

The Arsenal star also took time to reflect on the Republic of Ireland’s performance, admitting that the Girls in Green were ‘passive at times’ and ‘allowed [England] too much space in the dangerous areas’ during the first half.

‘We stepped up a little higher in the second half, and had a right go at them and I think we pushed them towards the end – we created some good chances and could have pinched a goal or two. We need to keep pushing, keep believing because obviously there’s four games left to go. It’s not ideal, the opening two games and zero points but we’ll concentrate on the negatives – we need to keep working and we’ll do that, for sure.’

‘I think that’s where we’re disappointed – I think the goals we conceded over the last two games, the France one as well, were avoidable goals and we know that. That’s where we need to be better, and as I said with that, if we can nullify them going forward then we’ve got threats in our own team. We need to keep pushing and keep believing that we can get something out of this group.’