ALTHOUGH it is far from ideal that new Scotland head coach Pedro Martinez Losa has only met with his players four days before an important World Cup qualifier, he has already made a good impression on Everton winger Claire Emslie.
The Scotland players had their first training session under the Spaniard yesterday morning ahead of Friday’s game against Hungary in Budapest. After it Emslie said: “To be honest, it reminds me of when I was at Man City. It’s a new style, and there’s a lot of technical methodology behind it all.
“He’s experienced at high levels in the women’s game. He did really well at Bordeaux last year when they were competing against the likes of Lyon and PSG.
“He understands our level, the type of players we have, and is trying to find a style of play that’s going to suit us as Scotland. You can tell even today it’s a different level and it’s only going to get better.
“There’s a good feeling going into the rest of the week.”
Martinez Losa didn’t have the luxury of a friendly ahead of Friday’s Group B opener. Despite Shelley Kerr resigning on Christmas Eve the Spaniard wasn’t appointed as her replacement until late July.
By coincidence Kerr’s first game in charge was also against Hungary. It was the first game after Euro 2017 and a warm-up for the successful World Cup qualifying campaign.
The 3-0 win is remembered particularly fondly by Emslie. After a couple of false starts the game provided the opportunity to establish herself as a Scotland player and she grabbed it with both feet, setting up the first goal for Lana Clelland and scoring the second herself.
“I’m looking forward to going back to Hungary,” Emslie confirmed. “That was my first proper time in the squad, my first start and my first goal. The day meant a lot to me.”
Martinez Losa, meanwhile, has brought in two assistants to help with the coaching duties. As expected, one of them is former Glasgow City captain Leanne Ross, who now has a backroom role with her club.
The other is his former No 2 at Bordeaux, Jose Barcala, and Emslie said: “He’s brilliant. We’ve had quite a few meetings with him explaining the technical details – just the little things that if everybody does it right can open up the game for us.”