I can understand the fans’ disappointment with Scotland after our Uefa Nations League campaign, but we will learn from it.
We finished the campaign relegated from League A and with a 6-0 defeat to England on Tuesday night at Hampden, and it was a result and performance we know is nowhere near good enough.
The result does not reflect the squad or our ambition. Throughout the Nations League, there were other performances which were indicative of what we are capable of, but we didn’t manage to secure the results.
And ultimately, results are what matter.
I think the most frustrating thing about the defeat to England was we were not competitive in the areas we know we can compete with them in.
England are a top team with great squad depth, but we gifted them too many chances due to our own mistakes – and that is something we know is completely unacceptable.
It is frustrating we weren’t able to get the results after positive performances in other games, and we know that when that happens then questions are asked.
We understand the disappointment and the criticism from the fans, because we are disappointed, too.
It is not how we wanted the year to end.
It is understandable that everyone – including the coaching staff and players – have faced criticism, and we take accountability for the performance at Hampden.
Reflecting on the Nations League will be something which will be uncomfortable for us all because we haven’t performed well enough.
Scotland Women squad have to stick together to learn tough lessons
The experience we have, with several players having more than 50 caps, is invaluable. I know as you get older the marginal gains you can make diminish, but you make gains in other areas which can positively impact the team.
This year we have also seen the impact of young players, like Emma Watson, Kirsty MacLean and Jenna Clark, and it has been great to see them grasp their opportunities.
All of us as players have a responsibility to keep driving our own standards.
Nobody is selected out of sentiment, and nobody can ever expect to be selected.
We have to stick together and learn from this campaign.
It was a tough group, and while it hurts to end it like this, it was a great experience to be exposed to top teams – and it needs to be something we take learnings from into the next campaign.
The squad will next come together in February and that will be a chance for us to refresh and look to implement what we have learned throughout 2023.
But we also know that next year there will be more pressure on us to deliver off the back of this campaign.
The expectation will be for us to win every game in League B, and that is a tough kind of pressure to play with, but it is the reality of where we are.
When Scotland qualified for the Euros and the World Cup, that is the pressure we faced.
There were tough games we had to win to reach those major tournaments, and we showed our resilience.
This is a chance to bring that mentality back into the next campaign. We know we have to get results.
Anti-women message harmful not only for football, but for society
Former footballer Joey Barton was in the spotlight for the wrong reasons on Thursday as he voiced his issue with female commentators and pundits working on coverage of men’s football.
If he does not want women to commentate or be pundits in the men’s game, then that is his opinion, but it is not something that needs to be shared to the masses on social media.
Social media is already a destructive platform where nasty comments impact people in a negative way.
His actions are a way for more people to pile on and share derogatory opinions.
To speak about women like he has only reflects badly on him – not the women who are simply doing their job.
Villa aiming for momentum with result against Man City
It is a fast turnaround from the international break as my Aston Villa side travel to Manchester City in the FA WSL on Saturday lunchtime.
We will be hoping to complete a club double against City after the men secured a terrific win against Pep Guardiola’s side on Wednesday night.
The men have been in great form recently and have produced some seriously good performances.
Although it is a quick turnaround due to some of us being away with our national teams, there was a core group of players who remained at the club and have put in good preparation.
We feel a good performance and result against City could really change the momentum of our season.
It has been a difficult campaign so far, with two wins from eight in the league, but the league is so competitive and every team has improved from last season, so the margins have are even closer.
We want to be better and, hopefully, we get a result on Saturday which moves us into a better position.
Last season we had good results against Manchester City, so we can take confidence from that, but we can’t let it make us complacent.