Stuart Armstrong admits lingering “hurt” from Scotland’s World Cup play-off defeat by Ukraine will provide a source of motivation when the two sides meet again in the Nations League on Wednesday.
The Scots were comprehensively beaten 3-1 at Hampden at the start of June as their hopes of making it to Qatar were ruthlessly ended by their visitors.
Less than four months on, they face each other again in a Nations League fixture in Glasgow.
“I think there’s definitely a level of hurt there from last time,” said Southampton midfielder Armstrong. “We knew what was at stake during that game.
“Obviously we’re disappointed following that so I think there will be a memory of that feeling going into this game. But also we want to win every game. We’ve got a lot to play for. The ultimate ambition is to win.”
The Scots also know that a win on Wednesday will lift them above Ukraine at the top of the Nations League group.
“That’s motivation enough,” Armstrong said, on the possibility of leapfrogging their visitors. “We know they’re a difficult opponent, we found that out last time. But equally, we know our own capabilities and the results we’ve had in the past show we’re also a very good team.”
Scotland ended 2021 with a six-game winning streak but they have won only two of their six matches so far this year.
Armstrong is hoping they can get themselves back on track by enjoying success in the current international window, which includes two games against Ukraine either side of a home game against Republic of Ireland.
“We can definitely take confidence from our previous performances over the last couple of campaigns,” he said. “We know we can finish strongly and also be consistent in our performances.
“At times in the past I think consistency has been an issue for Scotland but I think we have shown we can demonstrate that so there’s definitely a belief that we can find our form again and be more consistent.”