Scotland Women coach Anna Signeul targets Euro 2017 quarter-finals

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland
Jane Ross and Anna Signeul
Anna Signeul (right) has led Scotland to Euro 2017

Coach Anna Signeul is targeting a place in the quarter-finals of Euro 2017 after Scotland women reached their first major tournament.

Finland's defeat by Portugal ensured the Scots one of the six best runners-up spots in qualifying and a place in next year's finals in the Netherlands.

"We could have a very good competition," said Swede Signeul.

"We haven't even discussed it, but I feel we should get out of the group and go to the quarter-final."

Signeul feels a last-eight place "should be the least target we set", with the draw to take place on 8 November in Rotterdam.

"I know we are going to be in pot three of four," said Signeul, who has been in charge for 11 years. "We will be the third-ranked team in our group.

"We have a year now to prepare and to step up and really challenge the best teams.

"We have had problems when we play physical teams like Sweden, Norway and now Iceland and that is something that we need to be better at."

Scotland have one qualifier left to play in Group 1 - against leaders Iceland, who inflicted Scotland's only defeat of the campaign so far, on Tuesday.

Gemma Fay
Goalkeeper Gemma Fay has won 191 caps

Scotland's most capped player, goalkeeper Gemma Fay, believes reaching next year's tournament is "a positive football story" that should be applauded throughout the country.

"I absolutely hope it raises the profile of the women's game," she said. "I think it should.

"For years, we have had negativity around Scottish football and sometimes it's warranted, but sometimes I don't think it is.

"In the men's game, in the women's game, in the boys' game, everyone is doing good stuff and I would like us to celebrate that."

Fay says there is a simple answer to the secret of the success of Scottish women's football.

"Time," she explained. "We put something in place around 20 years ago with our development pathways and it has taken that time to come to fruition.

"It is time and patience and it's not going to happen overnight. You have to have the right attitude towards it and be willing to put the hard work in.

"Once you have done that, you have to be willing to fail. If you put yourself out there and try and to make yourselves better.

"So it's taking these lessons and not just accepting the way it was going to be."

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