Shelley Kerr says Scotland Women facing former boss Anna Signeul against Finland not an issue

Shelley Kerr on Anna Signeul: "The time has elapsed since Anna moved on to Finland - it has been over three years - but the players are very driven, very focused. When you play big games you try not to have any distractions and we are still really focused on the game itself"

Scotland Women head coach Shelley Kerr during a training session at Tynecastle
Image: Scotland Women head coach Shelley Kerr is expecting a tough game against Finland

Scotland Women head coach Shelley Kerr says the prospect of taking on a Finland side led by former Scots boss Anna Signeul has not been discussed by the squad ahead of Tuesday's game in Helsinki.

Signeul was in charge of Scotland from 2005-2017 before Kerr took over the role and is now in charge of a Finland side that top Women's European Championship Qualifying Group E.

The Scots are only a point behind with a game in hand, however, with their 3-0 win at home to Albania on Friday meaning they have won all three games to date in the group, scoring 16 goals and letting in none in the process.

Victory in the Finnish capital would see Kerr's side leapfrog their opponents into top spot and that means there will be little opportunity for sentimentality when the sides go head-to-head in a game that could help decide who ultimately wins the group.

Former Scotland Women boss Anna Signeul
Image: Scotland will go up against former boss Anna Signeul in Helsinki on Tuesday

Kerr said: "We haven't even spoken about that [Signeul being in charge of their opponents as a group. The time has elapsed since Anna moved on to Finland - it has been over three years - but the players are very driven, very focused.

"When you play big games, especially in qualifying, you try not to have any distractions and we are still really focused on the game itself.

"The one thing we know about Anna is she structures her teams really well, they are very well organised and again we have to come up with a game plan that can get us a positive result."

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Some critics may have been unhappy they managed just three goals against a weak Albania side but Kerr knows they will face a much sterner test against Finland.

"There's no doubt it'll be a tougher game for us and we expect that. We expect a well-organised team with some really good players," she added.

"We will need to be at our very best if we are to get anything out of the game but we have a common goal between myself, my staff and my players, and that's to top the group and try and get to another finals.

"The most important thing when you're in a double header is to get the points in the first game and we are in a position where we have no injuries, so we have got a fully-fit squad to select from."

Hannah Godrey (L) in action with Albania's Zylfije Bajramaj during a UEFA Women's EURO 2021 qualifier between Scotland and Albania at Tynecastle
Image: Scotland beat Albania 3-0 at Tynecastle on Friday

Scotland's meanness in defence has given a strong platform to build on and Kerr admits that is something they have had to work on collectively.

"We spoke in previous campaigns where we've given away cheap goals and it's something the players have taken on board," said Kerr.

"It's not always possible to keep a clean sheet. Every team in international football has players that can hurt you if you're not switched on but we have spoken about transitional moments in the game and so far we've done exceptionally well."

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