Scotland boss Shelley Kerr aims to harness 'feelgood factor' in Scottish football

Scotland Women head coach Shelley Kerr is hopeful her side can use the “general feelgood factor” within the national set-up to their benefit when they resume their Euro qualifiers campaign.

Kerr’s side, who won their opening two matches in Group E last year, host Albania at Tynecastle on Friday before they visit unbeaten Finland on Tuesday.

Euro qualifiers against Cyprus and Portugal scheduled for last month were moved to next year due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic which means Scotland last played international football at the Pinatar Cup in Spain in March.

Kerr’s counterpart Steve Clarke has led the men’s senior side to a Euro 2020 play-off final meeting against Serbia next month as they aim to reach their first major tournament in 22 years.

Asked whether her players can benefit from the success of the men’s side, Kerr said: “One-hundred per cent. It’s eight games unbeaten for the men’s team at the moment and don’t forget the U21s’ team as well!

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“I think there is a general feelgood factor amongst the national teams and it’s something certainly that myself, the coaching staff and the players will feed off.”

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Scotland will be without Arsenal duo Kim Little and Jen Beattie for both upcoming games but Kerr is confident in the resources she has to call upon.

“We talk about a culture and environment where we develop leaders,” she said.

“When you play at the top level you can’t just rely on one or two leaders. We also have Lisa Evans, Hayley Lauder, that equates to over 400 caps.

“It’s a lot of experience that we’re missing out on but equally the young players that have come in have done fantastically.

“We’ve still got a lot of good leaders within the group so we’ve got quality, depth. We’ve been working hard to get the depth so as much as it is a blow to miss key and experienced players, equally we’ve got players who can step up to the mark as well.”

Scotland captain Rachel Corsie, who plays for Birmingham City in the WSL, is confident the squad are equipped to qualify for another European Finals competition, with England scheduled to host the delayed 2022 competition.

“I think we certainly have what it takes to qualify,” said Corsie, who was part of the Scotland squad that was knocked out in the group stage in 2017.

“I don’t mean that disrespectfully to the teams we have because there are tough games ahead within this group. Equally we’ve qualified twice now for the last two major tournaments and we’ve set ourselves that target.

“If you look at those players that were involved, a lot of them are still involved and a lot of them have matured and grown.

“A lot of players play for top clubs where they’re used to that pressure and so it’s really up to us to put in the performances to get the results that we think we can do.”

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