Scotland Women: Crichton believes Pinatar Cup is essential preparation for qualifiers

Scotland Women’s international Leeanne Crichton says that the Pinatar Cup is a chance for players to show off their credentials heading into the Euro 2021 qualifiers next month.

The Spain-based tournament serves as a refresher ahead of Scotland’s return to competitive matches in April, having already secured two wins in qualifying against Cyprus and Albania.

The Scots opened their tournament with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Ukraine on Wednesday and can retain their top spot in the group with victory over Northern Ireland tomorrow.

Speaking exclusively to EN4 News, Crichton said that it will be a chance for other players to stake a claim in the team.

“It is a chance to show what you can do over the nine days where you’ve got three games and the four or five training sessions,” she said.

“There are players that are the main part of this squad who are missing, so there won’t be many chances like this where you can actually get in the team. This is a really big opportunity for everyone to show what they can do and basically stake a claim in the camps that are coming up.”

Scotland boss Shelley Kerr handed a number of Scotland debuts in Murcia, including Martha Thomas, who opened the scoring against the Ukrainians.

Despite the new system and players, coupled with a lack of preparation time, Crichton was impressed with how her teammates have adjusted.

“It’s hard to gauge in terms of the performance because there have been so many changes in the team,” she admitted.

“It was pretty much a new backline, a new midfield and we changed the formation. We literally arrived on Monday, trained Tuesday and played the game on Wednesday, so there hasn’t been much prep time.

“I think that everybody did really well, and the clean sheet is always a bonus as well.

“It is absolutely about winning, but performances will be a big [aspect]. Individually, I think players will be focusing on their own performances. It’s just about keeping that continuity within the squad and looking to build that confidence. I think that is what we need heading into these big matches that we’re going to have in April and June.”

A win in the tournament would serve as Scotland’s perfect warm-up before a return to competitive action next month, with matches against Cyprus and Portugal to come.

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