Scotland star Erin Cuthbert scored the first goal of the national team’s World Cup qualification campaign and she believes there are plenty more to come under new manager Pedro Martinez Losa.
Cuthbert scored the rebound after her penalty was saved by Hungarian goalkeeper Reka Szocs, before Martha Thomas netted to ensure three points for Scotland in their first qualifying game.
The victory meant a winning start for Martinez Losa, who was appointed in July, and a first chance to put his ideas into action in a competitive game. Cuthbert said there were clear signs of a new direction in what was a positive start in the journey to reach World Cup 2023.
“I think we can really use this as momentum,” she said. “If you get off to a bad start then sometimes it plays on your mind a little bit. I had it at Chelsea in the first game of the season, it can get in your head.
“We’ve come out of the blocks really quickly and Pedro’s got us playing quite a different style of play. I think you slowly see little bits of that coming in.
“We’re not going to learn it all in four days. Rome wasn’t built in a day. But we’re building on it and it’s three points, which is what we came for. That’s the most important thing.”
Martinez Losa has had limited time to work with the players so far but Cuthbert said that his approach to the game was one that matches her own preferred style. The Spaniard is keen for Scotland to dominate possession and pass their way through teams.
Cuthebert said: “As a midfielder I grew watching Barcelona, he loves all that so I’m like a sponge at the moment, taking in every bit of information that he’s given me.
“I’ve already learned so much under him, how he wants little bits of movement, his tactical details are so insightful.
“We’re all really taking it in and all enjoying how much passion he’s got as well. He wants to play tiki-taka football but he wants to keep the core of this group and keep that passion that we hold.
“He wants us to be hard to beat and we got a clean sheet tonight so it’s a great base to build on.”
Scotland’s failure to reach the Euros was [partly put down to a lack of goalscoring threat throughout the last campaign and Cuthbert admitted they could have beaten Hungary by more than two goals. However, she believes the fundamental attacking intent is there and that improvement is coming.
“I think especially against the bigger teams we’ll be afforded fewer chances so we’ll need to make them count,” she said. “I think for us we’ve maybe had a couple tonight that we might be disappointed not to have put away but at the end of the day it’s 2-0.
“Pedro has said that we’re going to work on combinations around the box and it takes time. We are building something.
“The main thing I would be concerned about would be if we weren’t creating chances but I think tonight we showed we were and we were patient on the ball. We were waiting for the right moment to go forward and I think we went at the heart of them many time. It wasn’t wide areas, it was right down the gut and in order to do that you have to keep moving the ball, drawing them out and being patient.”
Looking back on her own penalty being saved before she scored the rebound, Cuthbert said: “I don’t think it’s my best penalty and I’ll not be watching it back but it’s gone in the net and it’s a great way to start us off.
“It was a bit of a relief but I’m not putting my hands on my head like I’m disappointed because the penalty’s not gone in. It’s about the reaction and the rebound and I’m glad I got there first.”