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We are now reaching the latter stages of our qualifying group for the European Championships and the next two games, over the next week, will go a long way towards deciding our destiny.
Securing six points from the upcoming two games, against Israel and Republic of Ireland, is the only thing we are concentrating on. We slipped up last year when we drew with Wales at home, so six points would be massive for us as we draw near to the end of the qualifying campaign. However saying that, we know that Ireland will be out to do the same so we will need to be at our very best to secure that second place position.
First of all we host Israel on Saturday and although they are at the bottom of the group, at this level everyone knows that you can't expect any easy games. Israel caused us some problems when we played them away last October, even though we beat them 6-1. They were good at playing short passes and stayed very compact in defence. We will be sure to work hard on how to break them down and also how to deal with the problems they caused us the last time we played them.
It is always good to play in front of a home crowd and the girls seem to enjoy playing at Tynecastle because the pitch is so close to the stands and it makes a great atmosphere. I, along with the rest of the girls, would love to see the crowd gather on Saturday afternoon to show their support and help us secure three points.
We will be taking each game at a time, so right now Israel is our only focus. We all know that each game is important but as the qualification campaign draws closer to an end the stakes rise, but a lot of our team has been in these pressure situations before when they reached the play-offs against Russia, so I am confident that we will deal with the pressure as we go into these games. Right now, Israel is the most important game we have and we will think of nothing else until the final whistle on Saturday afternoon.
Everyone is aware that it is a new game this time around against Ireland and what happened last time, when we beat them 2-1 with two late goals, will have no effect on the game. They will have the home support behind them and I am positive they will be out to seek revenge. Saying that, we fought hard as a team to get that victory, so we will be going over to Cork to give everything we've got to position ourselves in second place, to lead us into the last games.
One of our players, Megan Sneddon, is currently on 98 caps and will reach the century mark if she plays in both games. For anyone to earn an international cap is an achievement but to reach 100 is remarkable. This shows how committed and dedicated Megan is to playing for her country and I am sure if you ask her, she will tell you that it hasn't been easy while she tries to balance her training and international commitments along with holding fown a full time job. It's a great achievement for Megan and one she will be proud of, but I am sure all she is worried about is qualifying for the Euros in Sweden next year.
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