Scotland captain Rachel Corsie believes the national team should enjoy the pressure of trying to reach the World Cup and need to start their campaign with two wins in the next week.
Corsie knows how it feels to qualify for the big tournaments with Scotland but has also experienced the disappointment of missing out. Despite being top seeds for the Euros campaign last time out, Scotland finished third.
Now, with the qualifying group for World Cup 2023 starting with matches against Hungary and Faroe Islands, the team can work to make sure they aren’t watching from home when the elite are competing in Australia and New Zealand in two years’ time.
There’s expectation around the team, but Corsie says that comes from within and can be a good thing.
“There is pressure,” she said. “Largely I think it’s a pressure that you should enjoy.
“Part of that comes because we want to be there and for those who have had a taste of major tournaments you want to get back there and prove that you should be there and can compete at that level.”
A strong start would put Scotland in a good position before they have to tackle Spain and Ukraine later in the group and the skipper feels it’s essential to get points on the board as soon as possible.
“If we are being honest, we feel that in the two games we need to take six points,” she said.
“If we take anything less than that, it is of course mathematically not a disaster, but given the expectations we put on one another and the standards that we believe we should have, then six points is what we need to aim for and make sure that we get.
“We feel we are in a position where we have a great chance and that’s largely because we believe in one another and believe in the process and finding a way to get the results we are going to need.
This week has been the first chance for players to impress new manager Pedro Martinez Losa and that could be another factor in the team’s favour, with everyone keen to make an impact.
“Quite naturally when there’s a new coach there’s an added edge in training and just in the day to day environments because everybody knows that every single thing matters,” Corsie said.
“Everyone wants to prove themselves and earn their spot. Players who haven’t had minutes in the past will see this as an opportunity to get more time on the pitch.
“Players how have played in the majority of the previous games know they have to work hard to make sure they give themselves a chance to remain as a starting player. Obviously that’s not a gimme, especially not in a national team.
“We’ve only had two sessions so far but there’s been a real appetite in training. That’s what we need to push forward. Come Friday we need to be in a position to perform and get what we need.”