Just like the start to her professional club career in Germany, Amber Barrett has had to be patient for new Republic of Ireland manager Vera Pauw to place trust in her.

The Girls in Green can take another step on the way towards a first-ever major tournament qualification in Montenegro on Wednesday and Barrett is poised to play her part.

The FC Koln striker came off the bench for the last 20 minutes of Thursday's 1-0 Euro 2021 qualifier win over Greece and is likely to be called upon against the group’s bottom seeds in Petrovac.

Barrett found the net in Ireland’s last away game in November, grabbing an early lead in Athens before Greece plundered a late leveller. 

That 1-1 draw constitutes the only blemish during Ireland’s first half of the campaign.

Barrett celebrates her goal against Greece

Home victories over Montenegro, Ukraine and Greece afford Pauw’s side the chance to rise above Germany into top spot on 13 points.

Sterner tests await in the run-in, with the eight-times champions supplying the opposition either side of the rematch against Ukraine on 5 June.

However, the significance of recording a fourth win of the campaign is leaving Ukraine with no margin of error in their five games to edge out Ireland for second place.

A runner-up finish claims at least a play-off, or automatic qualification for next year’s finals in England if its among the best three across the nine groups. 

"People probably don’t realise how difficult it was to beat Greece last Thursday," said Barrett ahead of the battle in the Balkans at the Pod Malim Brdom.

"They were a tough team to break down. We had enough possession and chances to kill the game off with a second goal, so hopefully we can start doing that against Montenegro.

"Our target from this double-header was six points and we’ve got the quality to beat Montenegro.

"Whether it’s 10-0 or 1-0, all that matters is getting another three points."

I don't want to get ahead of myself but it’s going really well for me. I’m getting to play in high-intensity matches every week which can only be a good thing.

Should Pauw freshen up her attack in a bid to rack up the goals early, Barrett could get the call for the central striker’s spot or one of the berths on the wing.

Flanker Heather Payne misses out with a hamstring strain sustained at Tallaght.

Barrett feels fit and ready for action, enjoying the benefits of operating in one of the best leagues in Europe.

The 24-year-old realised when taking the jump from national league champions to a Bundesliga side that she had to prove herself in the professional ranks.

That’s materialised of late as the top-flight newcomers attempt to avoid relegation.

She said: "I don’t want to get ahead of myself but it’s going really well for me. I’m getting to play in high-intensity matches every week which can only be a good thing.

"I’ll be available if needed. There’s a lot of good strikers in the squads but whoever gets the place, including me, has to show Vera that they’re capable of keeping the spot."

Follow Montenegro v Republic of Ireland via our live blog on RTÉ.ie/sport and the News Now app, or watch live on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player from 2.30pm.