Scotland star Jane Ross will not take Faroe Islands lightly

By Cheri BurnsBBC Scotland
Jane Ross in action against Poland
Jane Ross is Scotland's top scorer in the World Cup 2015 qualifying campaign so far

Jane Ross says Scotland cannot afford to be complacent as they head into the 2015 World Cup qualifier against Faroe Islands.

The Scots face a vital double-header, welcoming Jon Pauli Olsen's team to Fir Park on Saturday before travelling to Gothenburg to go toe-to-toe with Group Four leaders Sweden in the last round of matches four days later.

A win in the first encounter will all but secure Scotland a play-off spot, taking them one step closer to the finals in Canada.

And despite Anna Signeul's charges getting their qualification bid off to the perfect start with a 7-2 victory over the Faroese back in September 2013, Ross expects to face a sterner test this time around.

"It's going to be difficult, and there can be no room for complacency on our part," said Ross. "There are no easy games at this stage."

Ross, who netted in the Torsvollur Stadium in the reverse tie, told BBC Scotland things will be different in the return leg.

Jane Ross in action against Sweden
Jane Ross has an effort blocked as Scotland lose 3-1 against Sweden at Fir Park

"We went over there and won convincingly, which was a great result to get us off and running," said Ross

"However, I don't think it's going to be a similar situation when we take them on at home. They'll probably defend deep and try to limit our opportunities, so we must do everything possible to break them down and play to the best of our ability.

"They're going to make it hard for us, but we need to take to that pitch looking for the three points, and get them."

Despite the significance of the task ahead, the 24-year-old is far from over-awed, approaching the upcoming challenges in buoyant mood.

"We really want to be at the World Cup, and believe we're good enough to be there," said Ross.

As Scotland's top goalscorer in the qualifying campaign so far, Ross has been instrumental in ensuring they approach the final hurdle still very much in contention, but is quick to play down her own contribution.

Jane Ross
Position: Striker.
Plays professionally with Swedish club Vittsjö GIK.
Won her first full international cap for Scotland against England in March 2009.
Made her 50th international appearance during the 2013 Cyprus Cup.
Has so far scored 10 goals in the 2015 World Cup qualifying campaign.
Named as a reserve for the Team GB women's football squad for the London 2012 Olympic Games

"I've managed to score a few goals, but I think that comes from the collective effort that's been put in," she added.

"We've created a lot more chances than we have done before and, as a group, we're all still progressing and becoming better.

"Over the last few years we've developed so much, thanks to Anna and the coaches, and we've become fitter, faster and our technical ability has improved as well. We're now able to compete for longer with the better sides."

For Ross, the ultimate aim is to represent her country on the grandest of stages, and while she sees no reason why they cannot make their bow at a major tournament next summer, the Scot refuses to think too far ahead.

"Our attention has to be on Faroe Islands, first and foremost, and winning that. Then we can allow ourselves to think about Sweden and what may be at stake there," she said.

A win over Faroe Islands will leave Scotland with a chance of finishing top of the group, although seeing off Sweden, and possibly having to make up goal difference, is a tall order.

When the group's top two sides met in June it was Pia Sundhage's Swedes who dominated, recording a 3-1 win, and Signeul's players know they will have to put in a stronger display if they are to avenge that.

Kosovare Asllani nets for Sweden as they run out 3-1 winners over Scotland at Fir Park
Kosovare Asllani nets for Sweden as they run out 3-1 winners over Scotland at Fir Park

"We're aware that, depending on results, it could come down to goal difference in deciding who emerges from our group as winners," said Ross.

"So there's no denying that those 90 minutes will be really crucial.

"We've watched that first match back and learned from the defeat, definitely - hopefully we can come away having given a better performance and with a different outcome this time around."

Having plied her trade with Swedish club Vittsjö GIK for almost two years, Ross is no stranger to their setup and how the players operate, but she remains adamant that insider knowledge will count for nothing in the battle to come out on top.

"I don't think it gives me a particular advantage," she added.

"In terms of their national squad, not all of them are based there, and they may have different roles for their country than they do at club level.

"As a unit, we'll all be well prepared and clued up on Sweden before squaring up against them.

"For me personally, playing in that league has helped me to move on greatly.

"It's a lot more physical and competitive, compared to the league back in Scotland, so it's meant that I have been able to develop aspects of my game that I wouldn't have been able to at home.

"Also, having the opportunity to be a full-time professional now means I can focus on football on a daily basis and commit my time to that.

"That feeds in to what I do internationally and my hope is to continue to compete for a starting shirt in the squad and hopefully we move up the rankings. I'm determined to challenge for medals at some point."