Scotland's Lizzie Arnot wants to make up for missing Euro 2017

Lizzie Arnot
Arnot has not played for her country for 14 months after an ACL injury in April 2017
Women's World Cup qualifier: Scotland v Belarus
Venue: Falkirk Stadium Date: Thursday 7 June Kick-off: 19:35 BST
Coverage: Watch on BBC Alba; listen on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW/DAB/online; text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Scotland and Hibernian's Lizzie Arnot hopes World Cup qualification can make up for missing out on the national team's first major finals.

After injury ruled the midfielder out of Euro 2017, the midfielder returns to national duty for the double-header with Belarus and Poland.

"You never think of anything like that happening to yourself," she said.

"But I tried not to think of what could've been as it would have made things worse."

Arnot, 22, missed a year of football after an accident on the training pitch ruptured her anterior cruciate knee ligament.

"It was always an aim during my rehab to get back as soon as possible and I knew it was going to be tough as there's lots of competition to get into the squad, but that's what you want," she said.

Hibs striker Lizzie Arnot celebrates with the SWPL Cup
Arnot celebrates with the SWPL Cup after her five-goal showing in Hibs' 9-0 win over Celtic

Her dedication impressed head coach Shelley Kerr, who believes Arnot showed "incredible mental strength" to overcome the disappointment of not playing in Scotland Women's first major finals.

That and the five goals the player of the match scored for her club in their 9-0 hammering of Celtic to lift the Scottish Women's Premier League Cup last month.

"Even I was surprised to be fair," she joked before Thursday's home meeting with Belarus and next Tuesday's away match in Poland.

"Coming back into the set up, it's great that I'm feeling back to myself as much as I can be and feeling confident, that's all I can ask for."

The Hibs forward is one of seven domestic players in Kerr's latest squad with the rest playing professionally in England, Italy, Sweden, Germany and the United States.

While Arnot - who has been capped 13 times - admits success with the Edinburgh and national side are her priority, she too would be keen to see where football could take her.

"It's only a good thing for the squad and the game that players are getting to go professional," she explained.

"And I think for a lot of us it's an aim as well - if not in Scotland somewhere elsewhere."

The Scots go into these qualifiers with three wins from four, having lost 1-0 to Switzerland, who pose the biggest threat to qualification.

The players are all too aware that every result is crucial to keep their France 2019 dreams alive.

Scotland Women celebrating win
Scotland celebrate their 3-0 win over Poland, their third win from four World Cup qualifiers

Despite a 2-1 victory over the Belarusians in Minsk and a 3-0 win against the Poles in Paisley, Arnot believes both will present a tougher challenge this time around.

"I think [Belarus] will be a stuffy team and try to make it hard for us to break them down and be quite aggressive and physical as well," said Arnot.

"Hopefully with the big pitch at Falkirk we can use that to our advantage and move the ball on the pitch, which will help us.

"[Poland] was a tough game at home so we know going into it will be difficult as well.

"Obviously trying to take one game at a time but we do know trying to qualify for a tournament it's important to win the majority of games so definitely important to get these wins."

Two good results would set Scotland up for their final matches against Switzerland and Albania after the summer, and having fought hard to get back into the side Arnot wants another go at international football.

"For any player the World Cup is such a big tournament, it's worldwide and would just be amazing," she added.

"There's a great [atmosphere], such a lively bunch of girls who are confident as well from the past results.

"I see how well the team have been doing and I just wanted to be part of it, so I'll use all the energy I have to bring something else to the squad."

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