SCOTLAND manager Shelley Kerr is confident her team can bounce back from their defeat to Switzerland five days ago to claim a win in this evening’s vital World Cup qualifying match against Poland.

The general consensus is that tonight’s game is do-or-die for the Scots, with a win being imperative if they are to remain in the fight for qualification for the 2019 World Cup.

Scotland won their first two qualifying matches of the campaign before losing 1-0 to Switzerland in Schaffhausen last week.

The Swiss have five wins from five games which is why the Scots, if they want to maintain any hope of claiming the one and only automatic qualification place from Group Two, cannot afford to drop any more points.

The Poles are currently one point better off than the Scotland but having played a game more and being ranked nine places below the Scots in 31st spot, Kerr is under no illusions as to how important a win tonight at Paisley 2021 Stadium is. “I’ve always said that with only one team qualifying automatically, you’ve got to win your home games to have any chance,” Kerr said.

“Our preparation for this one has been excellent. We had a day off after coming home from Switzerland and we’ve had an opportunity to do some performance analysis – we’ve watched the game back a few times and gone through it with the players and we’ve also had the chance to work on things on the pitch so we can go into tonight’s match with the right game plan.”

Scotland were disappointing against the Swiss, particularly in the first half, but Kerr refused to be downbeat about losing by a single goal to a team ranked four places above her charges. “We were disappointed to lose the game against Switzerland but you can’t forget that Switzerland are a really good team,” she said.

“But I think when you reflect on the game, we’re not too far away. There’s nothing better though than when you’re got an opportunity to make amends quickly - that’s very helpful. In a club environment, you have that chance midweek or the next weekend whereas with the national team, it’s not always like that so it’s great that we have the opportunity to turn it round pretty quickly.”

Kerr has been at the helm of the national team for eight months now and is adamant that despite last week’s defeat, the squad is making progress. That assertion will be put to the test this evening, with the team never having experienced a higher-pressure situation during Kerr’s time in charge.

However, the head coach has had Poland watched closely, including during their 1-1 draw with Albania on Friday, which was a hugely disappointing result for the Poles. Kerr is clear in her mind about what her players must do if they are to come out on top tonight but she is taking nothing for granted.

“We’re looking to create more chances – that’s the big thing, and to have an end product,” she said.

“This game will be different from Thursday’s – Poland are very physical and very strong so before we even kick a ball, we need to match their physical presence.

“I’ve watched their game and my impression is the same as it’s always been about Poland – they’re tough, they’re physical and their spine to their team is really strong so we’ll need to play to our best if we’re to get a good result against them.

One huge bonus for Kerr is the recent return to action of Kim Little who, when fully fit, is worthy of a place in any national team. The midfielder, who is Scotland’s leading goalscorer, ruptured her ACL last May and was sidelined for almost a year. However, she has now returned to action and Kerr admits that she could not be more delighted to see the 27-year-old back in her squad, particularly as she has that rare ability to single-handedly make something happen for her team.

“Kim being back is huge,” she said.

“She’s an exceptional talent. In the second half against Switzerland, she orchestrated everything. She had the most touches on the ball of both teams and she’s capable of changing a game. She’s a key player who can really influence matches.”