It has been a challenging inaugural Uefa Nations League campaign for Scotland, but one I feel we have benefited from.
We play our final two group matches away to Belgium this evening and England at Hampden on Tuesday.
They are games we must win if we are to be in with a chance of avoiding relegation from League A, but language like that has not been used in the camp amongst the squad this week.
They will be tough games, but we feel we can get the required three points from both.
Since Pedro Martinez Losa became our manager over two years ago, we have been adapting to his style and that has been the most clear during the Nations League.
We have got better in almost every area and are doing what Pedro has asked us to do, but we’ve also been adaptable in games and that is something as Scotland we haven’t done before.
In the past we have been quite rigid, but now, although we have our style and philosophy, we look to be flexible with the system depending on players and opposition.
Even though the results haven’t been there, which is of course disappointing, there have been positives to take from the performances.
The campaign has allowed Scotland to play against the top nations regularly which is what we want. We will only get better and achieve our aims of reaching major tournaments if we’re routinely exposed to that level.
We wanted to be in League A, but with that we knew it meant every game is going to be very hard – and they have been.
There have been games such as the Netherlands at home where we matched our opposition, which was a big improvement from when we played them away.
We had England on the backfoot in the second half at the Stadium at Light, and dominated in a lot of areas when we hosted Belgium at Hampden and managed to get a point out of that game.
If we want to improve as a nation and close the gap on the top teams then we have to perform when the pressure is on and that’s what we’re looking to do in these games.
Belgium is our current focus and we haven’t really looked beyond that. The preparation for the first match is so all consuming that it is easy to stayed focus on it.
The Belgium game is enormously important in that we know we need the three points, so we we’d be wasting our time thinking about England because that game is irrelevant if we can’t go out and do the job tonight.
Tonight, we are going to come up against a team with a solid structure. I felt when we played them at home they were quite defensive, but good on the counterattack.
It is a style of football which is effective and one that has worked for them, so we will have to be switched on to deal with their threats – and if we can be clinical in the final third then we will cause them some real problems.
Aberdeen Women’s heavy defeat a lesson for the club
Aberdeen Women suffered their heaviest-ever SWPL defeat on Sunday when they were beaten 13-0 by Celtic, and it is a completely unacceptable result.
It is a scoreline which would have left the players feeling embarrassed, but it is the club who should really be feeling it.
The result is a reflection of the lack of progress the club have made with the women’s team.
Aberdeen know how to run a club and to foster a good environment with the men’s team, but I’m concerned they don’t know how best to translate that into running a women’s team.
Who at the club and at board level knows the women’s game? Who is making the decisions and coming up with the strategy? And do they have the required knowledge and background to be doing so?
If the club truly care about their women’s team, they need to bring people in who have the right expertise and give them the resources and investment to develop the team.
It can’t solely be the same people running the men’s side of the club because the games operate in two completely different landscapes.
The club have said their intention is to establish a five-year plan towards moving full-time.
I have an issue with that. First of all, the plan is not yet in action, and secondly, a five-year plan is far too slow.
There are already three teams in the SWPL who are professional and more who are semi-pro. If Aberdeen only plan to catch up in five years’ time, then there is little hope for them reaching the standard they say they want to reach.