Former Motherwell and Scotland manager Craig Brown reckons Christie Murray and Scotland’s Ladies can qualify for the knockout stages of the World Cup.
Shelley Kerr’s squad – including Bellshill ace Murray – fly out on Wednesday to begin their World Cup Group D campaign in France against England on Sunday.
A victory would give the Scots a great chance of progress and eclipsing the men’s side – who haven’t ever passed the first round or even reached a major finals since Brown led us to France 98.
The former boss (78) told the Times and Speaker: “I think Scotland can qualify for the second round.
“I saw England lose the other night to New Zealand. I didn’t think they were anything special, nothing to be afraid of.
“I think it would be a terrific boost if Scotland could qualify from the group.
“They have to be given great credit for even getting there.
“If they can go one step further that would be fabulous.”
Scots fans will watch this weekend’s clash against the Auld Enemy in their droves, as they relish the chance to watch our women doing something which the men haven’t managed in 21 years.
And the man who masterminded that qualification over two decades ago reckons our men can’t help but be inspired by our women’s exploits.
He added: “The women are getting great publicity for qualifying for these finals and rightly so.
“I am sure this can inspire the Scotland men’s team as the profile you get for reaching a World Cup is quite incredible.
“I’m sure everyone who is Scottish wants to be a World Cup player or at least a European Championship player.
“I will be following the Women’s World Cup closely.
“Scotland have a great coach in Shelley Kerr.
“She took the Lowland League men’s team at Stirling University – my grandson goes there – and has built a terrific reputation.”
Brown also gave his thoughts on why the men haven’t reached a majortournament since 1998.
The man who accompanied Scotland to three World Cups and two European Championships added: “I don’t think there has been a succession of bad managers.
“I just think the standard of player has dropped.
“I was getting guys from top teams.
“Now the Scottish team includes players from lesser teams.
“We are picking guys from Derby and Fulham now.
“In my day, we had top players like Colin Hendry, Billy McKinlay and Kevin Gallacher, who were all playing for the former English champions Blackburn Rovers.
“We also had Paul Lambert, a Champions League winner with Borussia Dortmund, and Gary McAllister who won trophies with Leeds United and Liverpool.”