Declan Gallagher insists Scotland are still making progress despite the two 1-0 defeats to Slovakia and Israel.
The loss in Netanya last night ended Scotland’s hopes of qualifying from the Nations League B, to end a camp which started with the nation ending their wait for a major tournament qualification.
Manor Solomon’s goal was the deciding factor last night and while Scotland probed and created chances, they were unable to breach the Israel defence.
They have World Cup qualifiers to look ahead to when they next meet up in March, before the European Championships next summer.
Gallagher said: “Progress is definitely being made every time we get together and we can take positives from the last two games because even though we lost, the performances were good and there have been positives to take from them.
“We’re a tight-knit group and the skipper, Andy Robertson, told us after the game that this is the closest squad he’s experienced in all his time with Scotland.
“It doesn’t make it OK that we haven’t won the group but ask anyone in Scotland whether they’d have wanted us to do that or qualify for Euro 2020 and they’d have gone for the finals every time.
“This has been a historic week for the national team because we haven’t done that for 23 years and we should all enjoy that.
“It’s obviously disappointing to lose to a sucker-punch goal like that. We were very good in the first half and took the game to Israel.
“That in itself shows how far we’ve come in the last few camps because in previous years we’d have come here and sat in. We didn’t get the result we wanted but it wasn’t a bad performance.”
There was added disappointment in the fact that Scotland surrendered top spot in the group to Czech Republic, who they had beaten home and away in the last two months.
While it didn’t end the way we wanted tonight, we want to thank you for your support over the last week – it has has been incredible.
Up next for Steve Clarke’s side: the World Cup qualifying draw, which takes place on Monday, 7 December. pic.twitter.com/DR295Fgxyu
— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) November 18, 2020
The Czechs triumphed 2-0 last night against Slovakia, which will see them get the promotion they missed out on last year.
Gallagher added: “That’s football, isn’t it? Yes, we beat them home and away but it’s all about close margins, as we’ve seen in our last two matches.
“It hurts that we haven’t topped the group and the manager is hurting too because he doesn’t want to lose any game. However, we’ll put that behind us, learn from it and look forward to the draw for the World Cup qualifiers next month.
“We still have important players who are coming back from serious injuries so things are looking good for the country.”