Scotland looking to build on unbeaten start in World Cup qualifying group which will ‘go to the wire’

Steve Clarke’s side sit third after two games, with the Faroe Islands next in line this week

Gavin McCafferty
Monday 29 March 2021 09:16
Comments

Full-back Stephen O’Donnell believes Scotland are still heading in the right direction as they seek the first win of their World Cup 2022 qualifying campaign.

A 1-1 draw in Israel on Sunday followed a 2-2 Hampden stalemate with Austria three days earlier.

Scotland have not won in four games since beating Serbia on penalties to reach the Euro 2020 finals and have lost the first goal in each of them.

Two of those games in Israel with Scotland at least showing they could fight back this time after losing 1-0 in November to miss out on Nations League promotion.

“We have played Israel a lot of times and they are a very good side,” O’Donnell said.

READ MORE

“They make you work, they put you in positions you don’t want to be in. They move the ball very well, (Manor) Solomon and (Eran) Zahavi are very, very good technical players. They ask questions.

“To travel over to Israel and come away with a point, it could be a crucial point. We will only know that come the end of the campaign.

“But I think belief is growing. Remember it’s been a long, long time since Scotland had a lot of success. It’s small steps. We had a big step in November, we need to keep trying to build on that.

“Being undefeated in the first two games isn’t the worst start and hopefully we can build on that on Wednesday night.”

Scotland host the Faroe Islands on Wednesday at Hampden where only a win will do.

Top seeds Denmark have started on top form with victory in Israel followed by an 8-0 thrashing of Moldova.

The group runners-up will claim a play-off place though and O’Donnell believes Scotland’s qualification push will go to the wire.

“You are always looking to win,” the Motherwell player said. “Only come the end of the campaign can you really see if it was a missed opportunity.

“I certainly think being undefeated in the first two games is a positive start.

“We knew from the get-go this was going to be a tight group. There’s not much between a lot of the teams and we need to make sure we don’t slip up badly.

“Going down again, it could have happened, but we came together and got the draw.

“We have a tough game coming at Hampden off the back of a long journey. If we are sitting with five points there’s a lot more positivity around the media.

“It’s a positive start, we would have liked to have been in a better position but it’s going to be a very tight group and it’s certainly going to go to the wire.”

PA

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in