Republic boss Pauw ready for ‘nastiness’ in USA

The Republic of Ireland played the USA in a friendly in California in the summer of 2019

Republic of Ireland manager Vera Pauw says she will be unfazed by any potential “nastiness” when she returns to the USA for two friendly games against the world champions in April.

In December, a report on misconduct in the US Women’s League said Pauw, when at Houston Dash had “shamed players for their weight” and “attempted to exert excessive control over eating habits”.

Pauw has insisted the allegations are “false” and says she had no hesitation in agreeing to the games in Texas and Missouri on 8 and 11 April.

The friendlies will be part of the Republic’s preparations for their first World Cup finals appearance in Australia later this year.

The Dutchwoman is among eight individuals whose future employment with the National Women’s Soccer League is conditional on her acknowledging misconduct, participating in training, and demonstrating a sincere commitment to correcting behaviour.

“It is not about me, it’s about the players, they need to prepare for the World Cup,” the Republic manager told RTE Sportexternal-link.

“They need to get the best, best, best preparation that they can get. We get this on a plate and I would say no because of me? No, I need to go through it.

“There will probably be nastiness because there are probably people who want to prove themselves because they have been reading what is being said around it by the people who know me. But I will be ready for it.”

Pauw revealed that the USA approached Ireland with the offer of the two friendlies which will take place in the Q2 Stadium in Austin and CITYPARK in Missouri.

“It came from them to us, I had no role in it. And that they want us at that moment is a huge compliment and it is a huge compliment to US Soccer and to the head coach Vlatko [Andonovski].

“Vlatko knows me, he knows who I am, knows that what has been written is not me.”

The Republic had already confirmed warm-up games against Zambia on 22 June and France on 6 July ahead of the finals in Australia and New Zealand.

Pauw’s side have been drawn in Group B along with co-hosts Australia, Nigeria and Canada for the finals, which get under way on 20 July.

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