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Kim Little confident Scotland’s ‘natural ability’ will show through in France

Shelley Kerr’s side impressed in the second half of their 2-1 loss to England.

Kim Little says Scotland will take heart from their second-half showing against England (Richard Sellers/PA).
Kim Little says Scotland will take heart from their second-half showing against England (Richard Sellers/PA).

Kim Little felt Scotland showed signs of the ability they possess in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to England at the Women’s World Cup.

Scotland, making their first ever appearance in the tournament, had little joy in the first half in Nice as England bossed proceedings and went 2-0 up.

Things were different after the break and Shelley Kerr’s side set up a tense finish when Claire Emslie scored with just over 10 minutes to go.

Scotland midfielder Little said: “I think the initial reflections are obviously disappointed we didn’t get any points from the game.

“But I think definitely from our first to second-half performance you can see the improvement.

“We have natural ability in our team and I think it was eventually going to come through at some point.

“We just flattened in midfield a bit to create less space for England and make it easier to pick up the ball, especially myself and Caroline (Weir).

“We did that more and had a bit more belief.”

Nikita Parris opened the scoring in the 14th minute with a penalty awarded via VAR, and Ellen White curled in the second shortly before half time.

“When they scored the first goal, I think we then naturally dropped off because of the pressure of going down 1-0, so we need to maybe learn from that and maybe be a bit more on the front foot if that is to happen again,” Little said.

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Kim Little challenges England’s Jill Scott (Richard Sellers/PA).

“But they are obviously a great team, and you have to give them respect – they are ranked third in the world for a reason (Scotland are ranked 20th).

“It’s three points gone, but we’ve got six more we can get. So we’ll look forward now and hope to do that.”

The next Group D game for Kerr’s team sees them face Japan in Rennes on Friday, and they then take on Argentina in Paris five days later.

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Kim Little (centre left) congratulates England’s Beth Mead (centre) after the match (John Walton/PA).

When Scotland made their major tournament debut at Euro 2017 in Holland, they were beaten 6-0 by England.

Arsenal star Little was not involved in that game, or tournament, having been ruled out by injury.

On being at the showpiece in France, the 28-year-old said: “It’s great to be here with my team-mates and representing my country at a World Cup.

“I’m just happy to be here.”

PA

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