Scotland squad fiercely competitive, says Jennifer Beattie

Jennifer Beattie in action for Scotland Women
Jennifer Beattie has amassed 111 caps for Scotland
Women's World Cup qualifier: Switzerland v Scotland
Venue: LIPO Park Schaffhausen, Switzerland Date: Thursday, 5 April Kick-off: 18:00 BST
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW/DAB/online

Defender Jennifer Beattie insists competition for places in the Scotland squad is more fierce than ever, ahead of Thursday's World Cup qualifier against Switzerland.

Shelley Kerr's side tackle the Swiss, who have won all four of their qualifiers to date, in Schaffhausen.

Manchester City player Beattie, 26, is back in international action having missed Euro 2017 with an ankle injury.

"It's without doubt the most competitive squad we've had," she said.

"That makes training exciting and games even more exciting.

"It's a really enjoyable time to be part of the Scotland squad but it is incredibly hard to get a place in the squad, let alone on the pitch."

Scotland have won both of their qualifiers to date against Belarus and Albania, and after their meeting with the Swiss, will face Poland in Paisley on Tuesday.

Should they win their next two matches, they will draw level with Switzerland on points at the Group 2 summit before the next round of fixtures in June.

But Martina Voss-Ticklenburg's side scored 14 goals in their victories over Poland, Belarus and Albania (home and away), while conceding only three.

"They've obviously got a lot of quality and are a very attacking team with loads of speed and aggression in the final third," Beattie told BBC Scotland.

"Any top team you play against you know they're going to be an attacking threat, they've got some really good forward players and a lot of pace up there.

"But we're confident with the strength in depth in our squad that no matter what XI we put out, we know we have got a good defence and will put on a good performance."

Beattie, who has 111 caps, was agonisingly ruled out of last year's European Championship - Scotland Women's first major finals, in which they were eliminated at the group stage - when she suffered an ankle injury less than a month before the tournament began.

Shelley Kerr surveys Scotland Women training
Shelley Kerr succeeded Anna Signeul last summer

Since making her debut as a 17-year-old in 2008, the fit-again defender has played the majority of her international football under Kerr's predecessor, Anna Signeul.

However, Beattie, whose brother Johnnie and father John represented Scotland at rugby union, believes the changes Kerr has implemented are working well.

"All the changes are for the better, training and competitiveness and players brought in," she said.

"It has been a massive transition but all the girls have adapted really well, are embracing the changes and enjoying it.

"To get to the Euros was such a massive achievement for everyone, that was obviously the first major tournament and this would be our first world cup, another milestone for the squad.

"Getting there would be unbelievable - that's the aim."

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