Scotland Serbia reaction: More injury woe, the Cuthbert riddle, boss reaches must-win territory

Another injury, another uninspiring display and more questions than answers - we look at the main talking points from Serbia 0-0 Scotland.

Pedro Martinez Losa has entered must-win territory with Scotland

Scotland Women have now gone 16 months without a competitive win following last night’s uninspiring 0-0 draw against Serbia in Lescovac. Despite that run, Scotland’s Spanish head coach is insistent he feels “no pressure”, though the heat is surely being turned up at this juncture.

His tactics continue to confuse and the questions continue to come. Playing a 22-year-old right winger in Lauren Davidson as an out-and-out number nine on her first competitive start then realising it didn’t work and hauling her off at half time? Hardly a confidence booster for a young player. Flirting with a back three formation for a number of games then scrapping it for a back four last night? Is he getting enough out of Erin Cuthbert?

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There are caveats but his team aren’t improving or showing an identity that fans can throw their hope into. Social media shouldn’t be a barometer for any fanbase but a glance at the official Scotland ‘X’ page sees fans clamouring for change at the top.

There were 60k+ fans at the Lionesses game at Wembley last night, while neighbouring Republic Of Ireland and Wales are seeing interest in their women’s teams peak. The game is growing but Scotland are giving fans little to be excited about under PML.

Martinez Losa is kind, composed and has achieved plenty in the women’s game but sometimes things just don’t work out and managers don’t gel with squads. Almost three years on from the Spaniard’s appointment, his record of just competitive four wins - two of them against Faroe Islands - speaks for itself.

There can be little doubt now that the scrutiny on Martinez Losa is becoming increasingly intense with each lacklustre performance. Scotland's Euro 2025 qualifier against Slovakia on Tuesday now genuinely carries a must-win tag if he is to quieten the increasing clamour for change at the top of the women's game.

Sandy MacIver injury adds more injury woe

We mentioned the caveats above and one area you can offer Martinez Losa some sympathy is on the injury front. It has been a nightmare that appears to be never ending. “Immediately after the game, I have no update on what the extent of the injury is but quite clearly she could not carry on,” noted the Scotland boss, clearly concerned over a troubling looking injury to his goalkeeper.

Caroline Weir, Kirsty Hanson, Emma Watson, Hayley Lauder, Christy Grimshaw, Martha Thomas and now Sandy MacIver will all miss Tuesday’s game with Slovakia at Hampden Park. Martinez Losa must often feel like he has ran over a black cat when it comes to injuries.

He has refused to use it as an excuse previously, though in his post-match assessment of the game he conceded: “I don’t know any team missing seven players that would not miss them.”

The Erin Cuthbert riddle

Is it the fault of the Chelsea star that she can’t replicate her club form on international stage or is the Spanish head coach nullifying her talents? Many believe it is the latter. Cuthbert is a world class talent and a vital cog in one of Europe’s best club sides yet often cuts a frustrated figure in the navy of her beloved national team.

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Last October, the 25-year-old hinted at the source of her frustration during an interview at Hampden Park, saying: "We are good ball players, we are capable of getting on the ball. That's the DNA under Pedro in recent years but we need to show ourselves, show our character, get on the ball but also bring a bit of the Scottish DNA - a little bit of getting stuck in, a little bit letting them know you're there” - and plenty identify with those words. Scotland look devoid of any identity under PML.

An attempt to rebrand Scotland into a possession-based, high pressing side intended to be brave on the ball has saw the Spaniard lose sight of other qualities that his side carry. Too often players opt to pass backwards or sideward rather than drive forward when given the opportunity - and it feels like this is not by fault but by design.



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