Stuart Armstrong admits the lingering “hurt” of Scotland’s World Cup play-off defeat to Ukraine will be a source of motivation when the two teams meet again in the Nations League on Wednesday.
The Scots were thrashed 3-1 at Hampden in early June as their hopes of a trip to Qatar were ruthlessly ended by their visitors.
Less than four months later, they face off again in a Nations League game in Glasgow.
“I think there’s definitely a level of injury compared to last time,” Southampton Armstrong midfielder said. “We knew what was at stake in this game.
“Obviously we are disappointed after that, so I think there will be a memory of that feeling in this game. But we also want to win every game. We have a lot to play for. The ultimate ambition is to win.
The Scots also know that a win on Wednesday will put them above Ukraine at the top of the Nations League group.
“That’s motivation enough,” Armstrong said, of the possibility of overtaking his visitors. “We know they are a tough opponent, we discovered that last time. But also, we know our own abilities and the results we have had in the past show that we are also a very good team.
Scotland ended 2021 with a six-game winning streak, but have won just two of their six matches so far this year.
Armstrong hopes they can get back on track by enjoying success in the current international window, which includes two games against Ukraine either side of a home game against the Republic of Ireland.
“We can certainly rely on our previous performances over the past two campaigns,” he said. “We know we can finish strong and be consistent in our performance.
“In the past I think consistency has been an issue for Scotland, but I think we’ve shown we can demonstrate that, so there’s definitely belief that we can get back to our form and be more consistent. “