Scotland Women boss Anna Signeul believes her team will conquer pre-match favourites Spain in Madrid this evening after overcoming their nerves at Hampden last Saturday and in doing so, qualify for the 2013 UEFA Women’s European Championships.
The Swede is desperate to lead Scotland to her homeland next summer and into the history books as the first Scottish Women’s side to qualify for a major finals.
She admits the occasion may have got to one or two of the players during the first leg as Scotland recovered from a sluggish start to draw 1-1, but Signeul has faith her girls have the mental strength to defeat one of the most revered nations in football in their own backyard.
She said: “I had mixed feelings about Saturday because I know we can do much better, but there are small margins in football and we are now in a better position than we were four years ago when we lost the first leg of our play-off against Russia 3-2 at home.
“It was always going to be a tough game but I think we showed everyone that we can play football too and we matched the Spaniards.
“We started quite nervously and gave Spain far too much space and time on the ball, but that is normal in a game of this magnitude that means so much to everyone involved.
“Our passing in the final third let us down at times and our finishing and decision making wasn’t the best, but I know we can do it – we are going to do it.
“The first leg was a fantastic occasion and it was tremendous to stage such a game, but in many ways, we are glad that it is over because we now know what we need to do.
“We just need to win 1-0. We can certainly do that because we know we can score against them.
“We won’t go gung-ho, but we know we need to score and we will definitely look to take the game to Spain as much as possible.
“It will be tough, we know it will take everything we have, but we can do it and we will.”