ALAN Hutton believes Scotland showed that they are on the right road against England at Wembley, despite their first meeting with the Auld Enemy in 14 years ending in defeat.
In an open and exciting challenge match on Wednesday night, arranged as part of the Football Association’s 150th anniversary year, Gordon Strachan’s side twice surrendered the lead to lose 3-2.
The fixture also served as a warm-up for Scotland’s 2014 World Cup qualifier against Belgium at Hampden next month.
And, although there is no chance of making the finals in Brazil next summer, the Aston Villa right-back saw enough against an English side which contained stars such as Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Jack Wilshere to give him the confidence that better times are around the corner.
“We all know England are one of the top teams in the world so we knew it was going to be a tough test,” Hutton told Sky Sports.
“But it showed we can handle the bigger teams and hopefully it is a stepping stone to move on to better things for us.
“To be able to score two goals and be able to put in a good performance, I think we can take a lot of positives.”
The former Rangers defender reflected a general sense of optimism among the Scotland camp following the game.
James Morrison’s opening goal was just reward for the visitors’ positive start in front of over 80,000 fans, before it was cancelled out by Theo Walcott as England asserted themselves.
Kenny Miller’s strike to put Scotland ahead after the break was memorable in its execution but the home side responded again and goals from Danny Welbeck and debutant Rickie Lambert gave Roy Hodgson’s side victory.
Hutton’s fellow full-back Steven Whittaker left London also believing the Scots will be better prepared for the visit of the Red Devils.
The Norwich player said: “Belgium will have a different style of play with different players but it will definitely be a tough test.
“Playing against teams like England, though, is only going to stand us in good stead. There were positives to take away again. We played some nice stuff. We kept possession, played well as a unit and we managed to keep England to minimal chances.
“We also looked dangerous and managed to get through a couple of times.
“James had a good strike but Kenny’s goal was class and so it was disappointing not to hold on to it.
“It was disappointing to lose the goals the way that we did so we came away frustrated.
“But we need to take confidence from this game and from the win over Croatia in the summer.
“Hopefully we can push forward, keep the momentum going with good performances and get some better results to go with them.”