Post Match Reaction: SWNT 5-Albania 0

Scotland 5-0 Albania, Paisley 2021 Stadium

2019 Women’s World Cup Qualifier

REPORTS Catherine Etoe

So it is two wins out of two and a seat at the top of the group for Scotland in FIFA World Cup qualifying under new boss Shelley Kerr. In Minsk on Thursday, Belarus were bested 2-1 but the scoreline could have been higher in the visitors’ favour. In front of home support at the Paisley 2021 Stadium on Tuesday night, Scotland got five without reply.

There were smiles aplenty on the training ground in Edinburgh on Monday when She Kicks went over to watch Kerr take the team through their paces at Oriam sports performance centre. With six points in the bag after the victory over Albania the following day, there was even more to be happy about, not least great goals from Fiona Brown, Jane Ross, Lisa Evans plus an own goal and a wonderful strike from player of the match, Claire Emslie. Here’s what Shelley Kerr, skipper Rachel Corsie and Manchester City livewire Emslie had to say after the match…

Scotland manager Shelley Kerr

On the result:

“We are delighted that we’ve got another three points and it’s only a starting point, we’re not getting carried away. It was really good tonight in terms of making changes [from the Belarus game]. We made five changes and that’s how confident we are in the squad, there’s a real trust in all the players because they are competent footballers.”

On the game:

“I don’t think we played particularly well in the first half and we said at half time, they just needed to be a bit more patient, speed the game up when it needs to be and go a wee bit quicker, and slow the game down at times. I thought we used the wide areas really well in the second half and we scored some good goals so overall we are delighted with the six points [from the first two games].”

On the opposition:

“We are always aware in international football, and I’ve got a lot of experience myself and the coaching staff have, any team are capable of scoring against you if you are not switched on and every international team has two or three players that are capable of doing that so you have to think about that. We really focused on ourselves in terms of our game plan.”

On Scotland’s finishing:

“I thought that even against Belarus, we created so many chances and perhaps the end product wasn’t there, but [against Albania] it was a wee bit different. Every training session we are working on that right now because we want to allow the players to go and express themselves and play with a bit of freedom. The foundations are there, they’ve been very structured and organised defensively, so now we want to take the team to the next level by playing attractive football and hopefully everyone saw signs of that.”

On the fans and support for the women’s game in Scotland:

“The crowd was fantastic, especially considering the weather. I know in the Euros, that the players really engaged with the support and it is fantastic for us, they made a lot of noise and it was great.”

On what seems to be a happy mood in the camp:

“When you come and represent your national team, there’s a seriousness to it because you’ve got the responsibility to perform as a nation, but equally it needs to be fun, you need to enjoy what you’re doing. You can’t have fun all the time, it needs to be the right balance, but we’re trying to create an environment that everyone wants to be there and they want to do well.”

On maintaining the spirit until the next competitive match in April:

“All the players are playing in different environments so we’ll keep in contact with them, that’s really important, we’ll go out and watch the club games and again, it’s just a constant communication. I’m a great believer in speaking to the players on a regular basis and that communication is key. It’s important that the players see myself and Andy Thomson, my assistant, and the other coaching staff watching them. I said from the moment that I got the job that we want to create a competitive environment and I think you can see that, especially in both games in terms of the rotation of players.”

Scotland captain, defender Rachel Corsie:

On three wins out of three under Shelley Kerr:

“You can see there’s a lot of ambition about the squad and it’s a fun and exciting environment to be involved in and that’s just great for our team and our hopes for this campaign.”

On the World Cup qualifying campaign so far:

“The objective was six points and that’s what we have. People probably looked at the Belarus game and it looks like it was a tight contest with the result, but I think we played some great football there, probably better than [against Albania] when the scoreline was 5-0. I think it just shows that we are at the beginning, we’re not the finished article and we’ve a lot to improve on but we’re still getting good results and that’s what we want.”

Wondergoal scorer and player of the match, Claire Emslie:

On the game:

“I think the game was quite hard to build our way in, the rain at the start meant it was a slippy surface so the ball kept running away from us, but I think the second half we really picked it up a notch and scored five goals so delighted with that.”

On her goal: 

It was one of those ones where if you hit it perfect it’s great, if you hit it wrong it’s hitting Row Z, so I’m delighted it hit the back of the net!

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