Scotland boss Anna Signeul backs side to secure play-off berth

Scotland's women's coach Anna Signeul
Anna Signeul insists Scotland are lucky to have Kim Little in their ranks

Scotland women's head coach Anna Signeul is confident her side will make history in their crucial upcoming World Cup qualifying double header.

The Scots face the Faroe Islands at Fir Park on September 13 before a trip to Sweden on September 17.

A win against the Faroes will all but secure a play-off spot, which would be the first time Scotland's women have reached that stage.

"I'm not worried at all, I know we will produce on the day," Signeul said.

Scotland still have a chance to top the group and qualify automatically for next year's finals in Canada, although that would almost certainly require a victory over group leaders Sweden, who beat Signeul's side 3-1 at Fir Park in June.

"First and foremost we focus on the Faroe Islands game and if we win that one we have secured a play-off place - that is writing history again for women's football because that would be the first time we have done that for a World Cup," Signeul told BBC Scotland.

Kim Little
Scotland midfielder Kim Little has enjoyed a stunning season with Seattle Reign

"Of course we have that [World Cup] in the back of our mind but we can't think too much about it. We have to focus on every game and the first, that will secure a play-off, is the Faroe Islands. If we manage that we look at the next game, and we go to Sweden and see what we can do there.

"We will try to do everything we can against Sweden because I think it's good for our self confidence if we go into a play-off to have done a good performance. We want to do two really good games now."

Signeul is without Lisa Evans for the double header due to shin splints but Kim Little is in the squad, fresh from being named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) after her first season in America's National Women's Soccer League (NWSL).

The Seattle Reign star is set to play her 100th game for Scotland against the Faroes, and Signeul's is delighted to have the midfielder in her ranks.

"We are always very proud of having Kim," she added. "We know we're lucky and I think it's just so nice to see that she gets the recognition, in the whole world, that's she's worth and has always been worth.

"We know she's a good player and love to see her playing in a Scotland top again."

Little is equally thrilled to be back in the dark blue, and she is determined to help Scotland reach their first major finals.

"My focus is now on the national team and hopefully qualifying for the World Cup next year," she told BBC Scotland

"The team has improved so much over the past three years and been so close to qualifying for a major tournament. We believe we are good enough to make that step and get to the final, whether it's winning the group or getting second place and going through the play-offs.

"We're positive and know if we play to our capabilities we can progress."

Little's Seattle side lost the NWSL Championship game 2-1 against Kansas City, and being named the league's MVP did not make up for that defeat.

"It's nice to win individual awards, although I'd have much rather won the championship with the team," she added.