Scotland star Caroline Weir says the excitement is building for the World Cup play-off against Republic of Ireland, and the team are ready to take on the challenge and win a “massive” game.
The teams meet at Hampden on Tuesday night with the winner booking a place at next year’s finals if results go their way, and securing an inter-continental play-off spot at worst.
Scotland came through a tough game against Austria on Thursday to reach this stage, with Abi Harrison scoring an extra-time winner, and the team will now face another difficult opponent at the national stadium.
“It’s obviously a massive game,” Scotland and Real Madrid attacker Weir said. “This is what we’ve been working towards for a long time.
“It’s finally arriving. I feel like the last couple of days have gone slowly after the Austria game.
“We trained today, we’re excited, we feel well-prepared and we’re looking forward to being back at Hampden again, hopefully with a good support. We’re looking forward to it.”
The 88-times capped international says Scotland will be up against an improving team, and one that likes a physical contest and will provide a different type of test from the the team has been used to.
Weir said: “This Ireland team have come a long way in the past couple of years, the last couple of months even, and they’re on a good run of form. It’s not going to be easy at all and we know what to expect.
“The physicality of their team is one that we’re expecting. We’re looking forward to the challenge and we’ll see how it goes but it’s going to be a tough game and I think it’ll be a tight game.
“It’s going to come down to who takes their chances on the night.”
The prize of a place at next year’s World Cup finals in Australia and New Zealand is motivating all of the squad but as a veteran of Scotland’s previous appearances at major tournaments, Weir is especially keen to get back on the global stage.
“It’s a massive personal goal for me and a massive team goal,” she said. “Not being at the Euros, that really did hit hard for a lot of the girls.
“Especially me, and I found it quite hard to watch. Having experienced these tournaments it makes you want it more. That’s exactly how we feel.
“So it’s massive not just for us as players but for Scottish football, Scottish women’s football and for the country.
“We’re hoping we can fly that flag and qualify.”