Kyra Carusa: ‘We want to be a top performing nation that consistently puts in those performances and consistently wins’
The Girls in Green grabbed their sixth win from six in the UEFA Nations League with a 6-1 victory over Northern Ireland on Tuesday with the goalscorers spread across six different players.
Both skipper Katie McCabe and striker Kyra Carusa scored to move the duo to five goals from six games in the campaign – Carusa’s headed goal was her seventh international goal and positions her now in joint tenth place in the all-time goalscoring charts for the women’s international team.
“As a striker it is all about mentality and confidence,” said Carusa. “When the ball keeps going in the back of the net, it gives you a lot of confidence. I say this a lot but when you are playing with players who are in such good form, it is contagious.
“It makes you be at that level because it is a competitive team. We are all in this every day trying to make each other better and driving standards.
"Having players like Katie (McCabe) or Lucy Quinn (scorer of the first goal in Windsor Park) who show up like she does, it is a contagious energy that makes you as a striker make sure that you are on the ball and putting that ball in the back of the net.”
McCabe was the supplier for Carusa’s goal early in the second half, with the Ireland captain across the campaign racking up five assists (while Carusa had two).
“I just know when Katie gets on that ball I know where I need to be for our team. When that ball goes wide, I know to get myself in the right position as a striker.
“You can do a lot of good things in a game, and a lot of right movements and hold the ball up and connect passes but when you are in that final third that is where a striker really shows.”
When extratime.com put the Nations League stats to the San Diego Wave striker after the game – six games, six wins, 20 goals scored and just two conceded – it brought a smile to her face. “Oh my gosh, hearing you say the stats back to me...woo...it is good to hear. I think it is really deserved. This team has grown so much.
“I think that each game we've gained a little bit more. It was an effective win at the end of the year - love that.”
The winning sequence, under the departing interim boss Eileen Gleeson, is the first time that Ireland have won six competitive games in a row – and across Europe only Turkey also managed to win all six of their Nations League games.
“What is an incredibly difficult thing to do is be consistent especially at a level like this.
"Even in this campaign with the kind of teams we've been playing, it is even harder when people think 'ah they can't get up for the game, they are just playing so and so, they've played in a World Cup' but in reality that is where we are developing as a team.
“We want to be a top performing nation that consistently puts in those performances and consistently wins on days that maybe not everything is going your way but you still win that game.”