Craig Brown praises Scotland head coach Anna Signeul

Anna Signeul consoles her Scotland team against Iceland
Signeul's side could still qualify despite defeat by Iceland

Former Scotland manager Craig Brown has praised the women's side under Anna Signeul as they are poised to reach their first major finals.

The Scots could have their qualification for the Euro 2017 finals confirmed on Thursday if Belgium lose their group game in Serbia.

Signeul's side would then be assured of a place in the Netherlands.

"I have the highest regard for Anna," Brown told the Scottish FA website. "I'm delighted for the ladies team."

Scotland were unbeaten in Group 1 until they lost 4-0 at home to top seeds Iceland in June.

But they could still top the group if they win the return tie and are among the favourites to be one of the best runners-up should they fail to reverse the scoreline in Reykjavic.

Even if they fail to finish as one of the best runners-up, the Scots are guaranteed a place in the play-offs as they look to reach their first-ever major finals.

Scotland will qualify if...
Serbia beat Belgium in Group 7 on Thursday
If Serbia fail to beat Belgium but then, on Friday, Finland fail to beat Poland in Group 4, or Russia fail to beat Germany in Group 5, or Italy fail to win in Northern Ireland in Group 6

"I haven't dealt with her coaching, but I've seen her team playing and the only bad performance that they've had in recent times, or unfortunate one, has been at Falkirk when they lost to Iceland," Brown said of Signeul.

"But, that apart, Anna has been outstanding, I think.

"She came to Aberdeen to give a presentation at an awards night for Aberdeen Ladies. Her comments and encouragement were fantastic. I have the highest regard for her."

Brown, who guided Scotland to the 1998 World Cup finals, the last time the senior side reached a major finals, is also impressed with the progress of the women's game.

"Women's football throughout the world is one of the fastest growing sports, if not the fastest," he added.

"So we've got to keep pace and I think, with the leadership we've got here, we will keep pace.

"There are some terrific players in the ladies team and I wish them well and great success."

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