Republic of Ireland Women's manager Colin Bell believes that his team must punch above their weight if they are to have any chance of achieving World Cup qualification.

Third seeds in a group containing European champions the Netherlands and Norway, Ireland got their campaign off to the perfect start with a 2-0 away win to Northern Ireland last month.

Ireland travel to take on Slovakia at the National Training Centre in Senec today (kick-off 4.30pm) and will be without forward duo Stephanie Roche and Aine O'Gorman, who both suffered injuries last time out.

Bell says that while Slovakia are on "the same level" as Ireland, a win is crucial with formidable opposition lying in wait.

"The expectations for us are regarding are quite low against Holland and Norway, but the hope is really, really high.

"That’s what I’m pushing and we’re trying to get our girls as well prepared as possible that we can compete with everybody, but also the chance to beat them all.

"That’s the kind of mindset and mentality we need.

"We’re not just along for the ride and to make the numbers up, but we have to realise that we have to work really hard against countries like Slovakia have also invested a lot in the last few years.

"Their game is really improving. They are on our level."