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Dublin: 8°C Wednesday 24 February 2021

'I probably won't tell you everything' - Scotland boss reveals fiery messages of support from Ferguson

Shelley Kerr said Alex Ferguson wasn’t impressed by some of the officiating during Scotland’s two narrow defeats thus far.

SCOTLAND HEAD COACH Shelley Kerr has revealed that she and her squad have received messages of support from Alex Ferguson throughout the Women’s World Cup in France.

Kerr confirmed that the legendary Manchester United manager had watched both of Scotland’s narrow group defeats thus far, and while he was impressed by the unity and fitness displayed by his compatriots, he was less than enthused by some of the officiating in the Scots’ 2-1 defeats to contenders England and Japan respectively.

Scotland still have a chance of progressing from Group D if they can beat Argentina at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday, and at a press conference ahead of that crucial showdown, Kerr was asked what Ferguson had said to her in his messages of support.

With a smile, she replied:

Well, everyone knows Sir Alex, so I probably won’t tell you everything [he said]…because he did say he was very disappointed in some of the decisions that were made against us.

“He was very complimentary about the team — the determination, the stamina, the togetherness in the team to finish so strongly in both games. He’s watched both of them.

He sent us a message before we came here, and it’s absolutely brilliant for myself as a manager for him to contact me — and also for the players, for him to pass on his best wishes.

“He’s going to be tuning into the game tomorrow night, so it’s brilliant — great bit of support from an absolute legend.”

England v Scotland - FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 - Group D - Stade de Nice Shelley Kerr and members of her Scotland squad training in Nice earlier in the tournament. Source: Richard Sellers

Scotland’s defeats by the slenderest of margins to England, ranked third in the world, and Japan, winners in 2011 and runners-up four years ago, have not quite eliminated them from this year’s tournament.

A win over Argentina — who have a point from their two fixtures against the same opposition — will give the Scots a significant chance of progressing as one of the best third-placed sides.

Kerr admitted that she and her side essentially expected to be in a win-or-bust position in their final Group D fixture, and expressed her confidence that Scotland can send the Argies homeward should they perform to their best on Wednesday.

“Not in a negative way, but we probably planned to be in this position,” she said. “We were hopeful we’d have taken something for those first two games but realistic that it would probably come down to the Argentina game.

“If you can’t be motivated going into the last game when you’ve an opportunity to get into the last 16 in your first World Cup then you probably shouldn’t be here.

“If you look at the previous two games, a lot of people have got caught up expecting Scotland to win.

“In some ways, that’s good, because it’s a credit to the players and what people think of the team. But in reality, we’ve played two formidable teams.

“We have to be more attacking against Argentina and they will have to at some point as well. It’s something we’ve been good at throughout the campaign to get us here, and I’ve no doubt that our players are prepared well enough and [if they] bring their A-game, then I’m sure it will be a positive result for us.”

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