UEFA European Qualifier
Slovenia v SCOTLAND
Tuesday 22 September, kick-off 3pm (UK time)
Ajdovšcina Stadion, Slovenia
Scotland National Team coach Anna Signeul says her players are fully focused on the task ahead as they prepare to kick-off their European Qualifying campaign in Slovenia tomorrow.
The country’s previous two qualifying campaigns have started with resounding wins for Scotland but Slovenia could prove a trickier challenge to those posed by Israel in 2011 (6-1 win) and the Faroe Islands in 2013 (7-2 win).
Speaking to the Scottish FA at team base, Anna said: “Everyone is very excited. There are laughs and everyone is enjoying themselves but on the other hand I feel everyone is focused on the task ahead. They know why they’re here.
“Slovenia are very organised and solid. The game will require a lot of movement from us on the ball and off the ball. Lots of runs and lots of movement will be needed and we need to make sure we don’t stand still.
“I just feel there’s real a maturity within the squad just now and they are not fased by anything. We have players now who can go out and just love to play in these games.”
Thursday’s defeat to Norway did offer some good news in the shape of Hibernian Ladies winger Lizzie Arnot, who came off the bench to make her international debut. Lizzie’s Hibernian team-mates Chloe Arthur, Heather Richards and Kirsty Smith have all impressed since breaking into the international set-up and Anna is delighted with the way the youngsters have contributed to the squad:
“I’m so proud of them. For every generation and year group that comes up, it just produces better and better players and they just love to be here.
READ OUR Q&A INTRODUCTION WITH LIZZIE ARNOT
“We had some group works tonight and I think that’s good because they are a little bit shy in the beginning but then it gives them a chance to contribute and talk and really come into the team. They’re switched on. They’re not here just to learn, they’re here to contribute and to take a place from the other players in the squad.”
Anna also took the time to congratulate Gareth Evan’s Under-19s, who qualified for the UEFA Elite round on Sunday after recording three wins in their group:
“They produced a very solid performance. I know they had some problems with injuries so it’s a fantastic achievement. They’ve done really well. Well done from the whole squad and staff to Gareth and his team.”