Shelley Kerr: Scotland aiming to win the Pinatar Cup

The tournament gives fringe players a chance but Kerr wants victory in Spain.

Scotland head coach Shelley Kerr believes the upcoming Pinatar Cup is an opportunity to experiment with players but stressed her main aim was to win the tournament.

The national team travel to Spain next month to take on Iceland, Ukraine and Northern Ireland in the competition, which Kerr hopes can act as a springboard to go into the remaining Euro 2021 qualifiers in good form.

Scotland defeated Brazil at the tournament last year, giving the team a lift before their first World Cup appearance.

“There are two main objectives,” Kerr said. “The first is that we want to win it. It’s a competitive tournament so we want to win.

“The second is that we want to give the players an opportunity, to give them playing time. We can’t always do that because we’re in the qualification campaign and when that kicks off you have to pick the strongest team to get results.”

She joked: “I think it was the worst thing we could have done last year, winning against Brazil. I think everyone thought we were going to win the World Cup after that.

“No, it does give confidence. We’re playing three different teams: Iceland, who are ranked higher than us, Ukraine who we haven’t played at senior level in about ten years. They play different systems so I’m really excited about going to Pinatar and it can help prepare us for two big games against Cyprus and Portugal.”

Kerr was speaking after naming her squad for the tournament in Spain next month. Sam Kerr and Martha Thomas are the two uncapped players in the squad and look likely to get their first chance to impress.

The head coach praised Thomas’ all-round game, saying she had been impressed by the West Ham forward’s physicality and ability to both score and create.

In Glasgow City midfielder Kerr, she said she saw a young player with the potential to make a big impact in years to come.

“I think this will be the longest that Sam will have spent away with the squad,” she said. “It gives her ten days to get used to the environment, to get some game time, and to get experience because that’s what you need as a young player in international football.”

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