Scot Gemmill claims his side’s Toulon Tournament exploits prove there are talented players in Scotland.
His Under-21s set up a semi-final clash with England on Wednesday after beating South Korea 2-1 to top Group B.
Superb goals from Billy Gilmour and Oliver Burke inside the opening eight minutes gave Scotland the perfect start but South Korea improved after half-time and pulled a goal back through Kangin Lee’s free-kick after 71 minutes.
Gemmill’s side held on to win the game and set up a repeat of last year’s semi-final tie which England won 3-0.
He told the SFA website: “It’s satisfying to go through the group unbeaten and get more points than last year.
“I would have liked clean sheets but that’s setting the bar very high.
“A lot of people in Scotland question where the young players are.
“Performances like this help convince people good work is happening. Not just with us but, more importantly, with the clubs. We have got a lot of players who weren’t able to come because of injuries but we take confidence that we’re starting to put together a real squad of players, even outside of this group.
“We have a bigger selection and real depth.
“We’re really proud of the players and it’s great justification for Malky Mackay, who found the budget to get us here because it costs a lot of money.”
Gemmill was thrilled with the goals scored by Chelsea kid Gilmour, 16, and West Brom winger Burke.
“A key thing in our preparation was to play in behind,” said Gemmill.
“I hope the goals are a snapshot of how good Billy and Oli can be.
“We give the players this opportunity and they have to take it.
“Billy showed his level. It’s not just his technical ability. It’s his game intelligence and composure.
“As for Oli, a lot of people are still waiting to see him really fulfil his potential.
“It’s difficult not to say ‘wow’ when he does things like that.”