Scotland manager Pedro Martinez Losa has insisted that his side are still on course to make it to the European Championships, despite the 4-0 Nations League defeat against The Netherlands.
The loss leaves Scotland at the bottom of Group A1 with just one point after their opening three games. They now need to lift themselves before they host the Dutch at Hampden on Tuesday night.
The campaign has the potential to unlock backdoor entry to the Euros and, with Scotland having had to watch the last tournament as well as this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, with their noses pressed against the glass, they have ambitions of returning to a global stage.
Martinez Losa agreed that his side were undone by cheap goals against the Netherlands but also pointed to the fact that Scotland were competing against players who would be considered world class in their positions.
“These are the challenges that will make us grow for the future,” said the Spaniard. “These are games that the players want to be exposed to at and we can highlight the positives and show the negatives to show how we can improve them.“It is a process where the group has to be exposed to this constantly. We have to make sure the expectations are matched with the reality of where we are. We have to try to stay stable and focus on the next game because the objective remains to qualify for the Euros and that is still on the table.
“They [The Netherlands] are at a very high level. They have two world-class starting XIs and that is the difference. I was frustrated and the players are also very disappointed. The physicality and the technical ability of them is high so it is not easy to play against a team performing at a higher standard. They are doing their best. I agree that some goals were easy goals but it is a consequence of the circumstances.”
Scotland were without the influence of Real Madrid midfielder Caroline Weir while Sam Kerr, Emma Watson and Erin Cuthbert were alos missing. The latter could be back for Tuesday’s game while Weir and Watson face a long road back from ACL surgery.
“It is our job to find new players,” he said “We don’t receive a medal when we bring in Sam Kerr or Emma Watson but when things don’t go well we have to protect the players.“It is not where we want to be but this is part of what we have to do. This was always going to be difficult to come here [to Holland] and win against one of the top teams in the world. We have to put the bad moments in perspective because it is clear they put everything they have into it. They are progressing massively but they are at a very high level and some of these players are the best players in the world.”
▶ Check out the latest original football content – including exclusive interviews, features and unique video content across Scottish, English and world football on PLZ Soccer YouTube HERE
Get Instant Access To The Latest Football News To Your Phone