Anna Signeul: Spain’s possession game won’t intimidate Scotland

Anna Signeul prepares her Scotland team ahead of tonight's clash with Spain. Pic: PA
Anna Signeul prepares her Scotland team ahead of tonight's clash with Spain. Pic: PA
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Anna Signeul insists the possession-based tactics of upcoming opponents Spain will not intimidate her Scotland side.

The two teams will face-off in their final Group D clash of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 in Deventer tonight.

Spain have enjoyed more than 75 per cent possession in their two matches so far, but fell to a 2-0 defeat by England on Sunday despite their dominance on the ball.

Scotland are bottom of the group having lost two from two, but a two-goal win over their Spanish counterparts, coupled with England beating Portugal, will send Signeul’s side through to the last eight, according to tournament rules.

The teams have history, most notably in October 2012, when a goal two minutes into added time at the end of extra time gave Spain a 4-3 aggregate win in a play-off for the 2013 European Championship at the expense of Scotland.

Now, Signeul has confidence her side can raise their game against their much-fancied counterparts in order to get the result they need.

“We know we can beat them,” said the Swede. “We know we can play well against them. We have played well against them before.

“They have to go for a win as well, they can’t just count on England beating Portugal.

“We know how it feels to have no ball possession or very little possession and we just need to have the same patience and be sure we don’t concede and early goal.

“I think that is the key to success – we keep them out of our goal as long as possible, and for every minute we can do that, we have a better chance of winning the game.”

Scotland captain and goalkeeper Gemma Fay echoed her manager’s sentiments and insisted the team was fully confident in their ability to progress.

“They can have all the possession they want as long as we score two goals, and if you watch the England game, that’s exactly the same attitude they took towards it,” said Fay.

“Spain had about 80 per cent of the possession, and that’s fine, they didn’t really cause many penetrating issues.

“We understand we may have to concede a lot of possession, but that doesn’t stop us knowing we have to score two goals and understanding we can do that. It comes down to that inner belief that we’re capable of doing it, and each and every one of us believes that.”

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