Scotland winger James Forrest insists he and his team-mates must be ready to produce two big performances when they return for the next international break in November.
Following the Scots’ 2-1 defeat away to Israel in the Uefa Nations League last week, Alex McLeish’s side must draw in Albania and defeat the 94th-world ranked Israelis at Hampden Park in order to win Group C1.
Celtic player Forrest is urging a strong response from his side, after a disappointing start to McLeish’s second reign in charge.
He said: “There is no hiding it has been hard. We need to make sure we are ready to take off in the next international break.
“We need to come back and get a good result in Albania away and that would be good to take us into the second game at home against Israel.
“It is still in our own hands – that is always a good thing. We know if we turn up and look after ourselves we can do it – we just need to bounce back in the next two games.
“They are not going to be easy games. They will both be hard, so we need to set up right and make sure everybody is ready to go. We just need to get a positive result and performance and I am sure everything will change.”
Forrest says there is no time for the Scots to feel sorry for themselves following their humiliating defeat in Haifa, adding: “The defeat in Israel last week wasn’t good and everyone knows that, the players and staff.
“The Israel result was disappointing but you look at some of their players and they are all playing at a good level.
“We also have good players who play at a similar better and we know we should have done a lot better out there.”
Forrest, who came into the international break on the back of netting four goals for Celtic in a 6-0 win over St Johnstone, hopes to remain at the forefront of McLeish’s plans after being given the nod to start in the defeat against Portugal.
The 27-year-old added: “You work hard and try to play well for your club so you can get into the national squad so I am buzzing to get playing games for Scotland and I am looking to get in the manager’s plans and to play in more matches under him.”