Scotland Women: Shelley Kerr says tactics rather than results the focus in January friendlies

Shelley Kerr makes a point as she speaks to the media on Wednesday
Kerr has overseen victories in both of Scotland's opening World Cup qualifiers

Scotland Women will prioritise implementing a new style and tactics over results in two friendlies this month, says head coach Shelley Kerr.

Scotland will play Norway on 19 January and Russia on 22 January during a week-long training camp in La Manga, Spain.

They will also play New Zealand twice, on 3 March and 6 March, also in Spain, before their next World Cup qualifiers with Switzerland and Poland in April.

"It is not so much about getting a result in these games," Kerr said.

"It is about giving opportunities to players and trying out our system in the way we want to play.

"We have said openly that we want to play an attractive style of football. But we are not naive enough to think we can do that all the time.

"It is about finding out tactically how we can adapt in game situations - that is what we want to try to implement on the training pitch."

Kerr, 48, succeeded the long-serving Anna Signeul as head coach after last summer's European Championships, Scotland's first major finals.

She led them to a 3-0 friendly win in Hungary in her first match in charge in September, before overseeing World Cup qualifying wins over Belarus (2-1) and Albania (5-0) in October.

Claire Emslie and Lisa Evans
Claire Emslie (left) and Lisa Evans were both on target in Scotland's 5-0 rout of Albania in October

"Obviously there has been a transitional period, and we are keen to implement a new strategy," she explained.

"That is going to take a lot of hard work on the training pitch. I worked out we have only had nine training sessions so far so that is not a lot. Some of them play different systems at their clubs.

"Part of our philosophy is we want to be adaptable and flexible in our tactics. To do that we need to spend hours on the training pitch. I think that has to be our focus when we are away."

Kerr, who became the first female manager in British men's senior football when she took charge of Lowland League club Stirling University in 2014, has named a squad of 23 players for the friendlies this month, with a recall for Hibernian Ladies' Rachael Small the only change.

'We have to play tough opponents'

They will first tackle Norway, who are ranked 14th in the world, but lost all three games at Euro 2017 and finished bottom of their group.

Three days later they face Russia, ranked 25th, who won one of their three games at the Euros but like Scotland (ranked 23rd), failed to progress to the knock-out stages.

The Scots are aiming to reach their first ever World Cup finals, to be staged in France in 2019, and Kerr intends to utilise the full squad across the two matches in order to build depth for the more important tests to come.

Scotland's World Cup qualifiers:
19/10/17: Belarus(A) W 2-107/06/18: Belarus (H)
24/10/17: Albania (H) W 5-012/06/18: Poland (A)
05/04/18: Switzerland (A)30/08/18: Switzerland (H)
10/04/18: Poland (H)04/09/18: Albania (A)

"Norway and Russia are top-class opponents and that will give us an opportunity to adapt our tactics, given the fact we are going to be coming up against arguably our two strongest opponents in the group," Kerr added.

"Norway, over the years, have been very successful, albeit not so much recently. But we know on their day, they are capable of beating any team in Europe.

"That is going to be a tough ask for us, but to get to the level we want to get to, we have to play tough opponents.

"We are really pleased with the first few games. We know it is going to take a long time to get everything right, but the signs are really positive."

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