Boss Steve Clarke accepts Scotland will have to take at least a point from the world’s top team to keep alive their slim Euro 2020 hopes.
The Scots’ damaged Group I bid is hanging by a thread after blowing a lead to lose 2-1 to Russia at home at Hampden.
Now Clarke admits his demoralised men must end the 100% group record of the side top of the Fifa world rankings.
Scotland host World Cup semi-finalists Belgium at Hampden on Monday in an all-or-nothing fight for Scotland’s Euro qualification survival.
And even if they do overturn the odds to take something from the Belgians Clarke warned the Scots must still shock Russia in Moscow next month to resurrect group qualification hopes.
He also insists he will have to assess whether Scotland’s collapse after leading was down to lack of quality or a mental issue.
He said: “We have to get something from Monday night to give ourselves a realistic chance in the group.
“If we get one point on Monday and three points in Russia that is still four points.
“There are still enough points in the group to qualify if we can get enough in the remaining games.
“Rather than say it (Belgium) is a ‘must win’ it is a game we must get something from.”
Scotland still have the safety net of the play-offs secured having topped the UEFA Nations League.
There is little time for a post mortem on a disappointing night against Russia, as the squad were regrouping at their hotel this morning.
However, Clarke wants to get to the bottom of why they blew a lead and looked so nervous.
Ultimately the Scots, who were booed off the pitch by the Tartan Army, were fortunate to emerge with just a 2-1 defeat. Russia twice hit the woodwork and had a shot cleared off the line.
Clarke said: “If you look at the way we started the game we have good players.
“Why we allowed that game to drift away from us, whether it is a mental thing or a quality thing, we will have to look at and assess.”
Although just three games into his tenure as national boss having replaced Alex McLeish before the summer, Clarke accepts the buck stops with him.
He is determined to find a solution to Scotland’s problems.
He said: “You have to believe there is a solution.
“I am still learning about the players and different people all the time.
“It is up to me to find the solution. There are some positions where we are stronger than others.
“Within the group of players I think we have enough talent to be competitive.
“That is what we have to work on and I have to find the solution.”
Clarke admits there are likely to be changes to his starting line-up to face the world’s top side.
He said: “The last time between the Cyprus and Belgium games I made five changes and two of them were enforced.
“It may be similar again.”