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Ireland coach Pauw says ‘I decide’ after skipper’s intervention

Coach Vera Pauw said she made the decisions after skipper Katie McCabe pleaded for substitutions to be made in the second half of Ireland’s 0-0 draw with Nigeria on Monday at the Women’s World Cup.

Speaking after the stalemate at Brisbane Stadium, Pauw confirmed the exchange with the Arsenal star.

“A player can ask for changes but it is up to the coach to make the decision on whether it is necessary,” said Pauw.

“She said she wanted fresh legs on. But everyone was doing so well so I was not prepared to take players off.”

Ireland were already out of the World Cup but they at least go home from their debut at the tournament with a point.

The 60-year-old Dutchwoman Pauw said she was not worried about her position.

“I don’t feel this is my last game just because we are going home from the World Cup,” she said.

Pauw said Irish women’s football could take a lot of positives from the tournament, despite their record of two losses and a draw.

“I think we’ve been very unlucky, we’ve done fantastically and the players have grown from very good players, very talented players to international top players,” she said.

“Those weeks that we’ve prepared, and the games themselves, have pushed the level of the whole team.

“The players will notice that in the future, they’ll notice it even in their contracts.

“I think they will get many more opportunities and Irish kids will see that they can achieve things and be here.”

Ireland went into the match playing only for pride but they had the support of most of the 25,000 fans who turned out decked head to toe in emerald green.

“There’s been so many Irish people it’s unbelievable,” goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan said.

“We played in Perth and it felt like a home match, we played in Brisbane and it felt like a home match.

“It means the world to have so many come out and support us.”

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