"We want to show the rest of Europe that we are a good side" - Roma McLaughlin reacts to massive victory over Macedonia

They now play Italy on Sunday afternoon

BY Newstalk 19:27 Saturday 22 October 2016, 19:27 22 Oct 2016

Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Roma McLaughlin believes that the Republic of Ireland Women's U19 side can achieve their target of topping their UEFA European Championship qualification group.

They sit top of the group after accruing 12 goals and six points from their opening two games - a 10-0 victory over FYR Macedonia and a 2-0 win against Wales.

They are yet to face Italy, but Dave Connell's side are full of confidence heading into the clash on Sunday afternoon.

"The objective when we came out here was nine points, so we know that we have to beat Italy to complete that. We are pushing to top the group," said McLaughlin.

"If we top the group we have a better chance of avoiding the bigger teams in the Elite Round, but we also want to show the rest of Europe that we are a good side and that we are in the mix for the finals."

Connell had set the aim to be top of the group before leaving for Skopje and the midfielder says that he continued to press that message through qualification to the Elite Round.

While the next round of fixtures aren't until next March, McLaughlin  says that the team can still improve and praised the strength in depth in the squad.

"I think the two games that we've played, against Macedonia and Wales, have showed that we have goalscorers throughout the team and that's a big asset for us to have," she continued.

"When we played in the U17 finals in Iceland we struggled to get shots on target, but we've now addressed that. And the likes of Alex (Kavanagh) and Leanne (Kiernan) have added to that.

"This is probably the closest squad that I have been involved with and it definitely helps that we all get on together off the pitch. We just have to keep it going now and get the win against Italy."

The finals take place next summer in Northern Ireland.

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