Littlejohn 'excited' for Northern Ireland test

Littlejohn 'excited' for Northern Ireland test

Ireland's Ruesha Littlejohn has claimed that she is "excited" to face Northern Ireland on Tuesday in their final Nations League game of the year. 

The Girls in Green have already been promoted from Nations League Group B to Group A with two games to spare. Ireland's five wins out of five, including a 3-0 defeat of the North in their opening Nations League game in September, would make many people feel that the game, which is a dead rubber, is of less importance than usual. 

However, Littlejohn has claimed that she isn't treating this game like the aforementioned "dead rubber." She is looking forward to the challenge at Windsor Park on Tuesday night. 

"They're going to be up for it; we know a couple of girls in their team," said Littlejohn. 

"We've not spoken to them too much, but we know how passionate they are to play for the North. It's exciting, I'm really looking forward to it. It's been a few years since I've taken part in a game like this. 

"We're looking to get another three points; we want to win. We know it's going to be a tough game. They're going to want to take points off us on their home patch in their own national stadium too, so it's going to be a massive game, but we're looking forward to it." 

Ruesha Littlejohn at the 2023 World Cup (Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Ireland captain Katie McCabe spoke this week about needing to improve on the already excellent year the Irish women's team have already had. There is a desire to improve and keep learning despite the milestones achieved so far. McCabe wants the uncommon in women's football in Ireland to become common. 

"I'm sure the girls will agree on that. Representing Ireland at a World Cup will definitely be the standout thing. But we don't want to just look back and be happy with that and be satisfied with that; we want to keep pushing forward," McCabe said. 

"We want to make it a common theme where we're pushing and playing against opposition and qualifying for tournaments. As nice as 2023 was, we want more of it, and 2024 is going to be massive." 

Littlejohn has echoed the sentiments of her national captain and also wants the Ireland squad to grow stronger and stronger as the months pass by. 

"Obviously this tournament's been going very well, but we want to build on that, and we know that - no disrespect to who we've been playing - we're going to be coming up against tougher opposition [in the Euro 2025 qualifiers], and that's when we'll see how it's going. But it's been really refreshing," added the 33-year-old. 

Ireland plays Northern Ireland at 6:30pm tomorrow night.