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Katie McCabe: Vera Pauw responds to Ireland captain's comments during Women's World Cup draw with Nigeria – Sky Sports

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Katie McCabe appeared to call on Vera Pauw to make substitutions during the second half of the Republic of Ireland’s 0-0 draw with Nigeria at the Women’s World Cup on Monday; Pauw only made changes in the 83rd minute and reminded her captain after the game that “she’s not the coach”
Wednesday 2 August 2023 17:25, UK
Vera Pauw has questioned Katie McCabe’s request for substitutions during the Republic of Ireland’s draw with Nigeria at the Women’s World Cup on Monday, reminding her captain that “she’s not the coach”.
McCabe appeared to question Pauw’s reluctance to turn to the bench during the second half of the 0-0 draw in Brisbane – a result that consigned Ireland to a last-placed finish in Group B.
But Pauw chose not to make any changes until the 83rd minute and explained after the game why she declined McCabe’s request.
“Why would we change?” asked the manager. “If Katie McCabe says that she wants to change it doesn’t mean… she’s not the coach.
“Everybody was doing so well so I said ‘what do you want, Katie? Taking the best player off? No’.
“Players are allowed to be emotional and allowed to say that. That’s fine, but during the game I step back and analyse and we make changes the moment that it is necessary.
“A player can say everything to a coach, at least to me.
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“She wanted fresh legs on her side [but] everybody was doing so well. Sinead Farrelly was arguably the best player on the pitch at that moment so I was not prepared to take the best player off.”
McCabe did not comment on her exchange with Pauw after the match but did take to social media to post an apparent response to her manager.
Arguably Ireland’s best player, McCabe spent the entire tournament at left wing-back but still managed to score what remains her country’s only Women’s World Cup goal to date when she found the net directly from a corner against Canada.
However, Ireland went on to lose that match 2-1 which, combined with their earlier 1-0 defeat to co-hosts Australia, meant McCabe’s side were already eliminated ahead of their meeting with Nigeria.
“To be calm, composed and patient in our defensive work, to have a lot of the possession was really good,” said McCabe post-match. “It was just about utilising it in the right areas.
“We did create some good opportunities and it was disappointing that we didn’t capitalise on it.”
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McCabe also praised goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan for an impressive late save that ensured Ireland held onto their first ever Women’s World Cup point, saying: “I was really proud of it and for Courtney to make that world-class save at the end to help get us the point was really good.”
Reflecting on her side’s performance at the competition, Pauw – who has publicly called on the Football Association of Ireland to hand her a two-year contract extension – said: “I think we can be extremely proud of ourselves.
“We have lost a game through a very unlucky penalty-kick [Australia], an own goal [Canada] and now 0-0 against Nigeria, who I rate as a top-10 nation.
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“We’ve been very unlucky, we’ve done fantastically and the players have grown from very good, very talented players to international, top players.
“From the games, what I take out is that we can face everybody and that if you look at the stats and that we are getting closer and closer and closer in everything, then we are far ahead of schedule.”
Nigeria are 40th in the FIFA rankings, 18 places below Ireland.
The group stage has begun and runs over a two-week period, finishing on August 3. Group winners and runners-up progress to the round of 16, which takes place from August 5 to August 8.
The quarter-finals, which will be held in Wellington, Auckland, Brisbane and Sydney, are scheduled for August 11 and 12.
The first semi-final will be played on August 15 in Auckland, with the other semi-final taking place on August 16 at the Accor Stadium in Sydney, which will then host the final on August 20.
A third-place play-off will be played the day before the final on August 19 in Brisbane.
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