Losa: Scotland 'must focus fully on Belgium' ahead of England tie

The manager is adamant that Scotland must not allow the excitement of hosting England to distract them.

Scotland must focus fully on Belgium ahead of England tie – Pedro Martinez Losa SNS Group

Pedro Martinez Losa insisted Scotland must keep their focus fully on their upcoming Nations League match away to Belgium before allowing their attention to turn to England.

The Scots have taken just one point from their four matches so far and finish up with a formidable double-header, with next Friday’s clash in Leuven followed by a mouth-watering Hampden showdown with the Auld Enemy four days later.

Martinez Losa is adamant that Scotland must not allow the excitement of hosting England to distract them in the build-up to their Belgian assignment.

“One of the dangerous things when we play against England is that we are all so excited and we have that desire to compete,” said the Scotland manager.

“But we have to go one game at a time. We have to make sure we are focused on Belgium. We know we can beat Belgium but we know they are a very tactical team and they have the confidence of qualifying for tournaments and competing at the highest level.

“After the challenge of Belgium, we have the special scenario of playing against England at Hampden.

“We will have the crowd and the support of the fans and that has been a plus for all the teams across the Nations League, like when we played against England (in Sunderland) with 50,000 people and when we played the Netherlands at a sold-out stadium (in Nijmegen).”

Having experienced big atmospheres in their most recent away matches, Martinez Losa would love to see a big crowd at Hampden for the England match as the Scots bid to avenge their narrow 2-1 defeat at the Stadium of Light in September.

“We want to create that environment with our fans so that they connect with the team and feel proud,” he said. “For our players, the support of the fans is probably the biggest motivation. And on the other side, we will be competing against a team like England who will probably need to qualify.

“It will be an additional pressure for both teams. Hopefully we are still alive in the competition and I’m pretty sure we can cause England some difficulties. I think we broke the barrier of confidence in our mindset with that second half against England.

“The players will still have it in their heads and they know we can still do it better. They left the pitch frustrated because they felt they could get more from the game.

“It would be fantastic to beat England but our objective is to qualify for the Euros.”

Martinez Losa named his squad for the double-header on Wednesday, with Bayern Frauen midfielder Sam Kerr returning from injury, while Brogan Hay, Emma Mukandi and Abi Harrison are also back in the mix.

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