Scott McKenna has backed Scotland to go on and win their UEFA Nations League group.
The Dark Blues were beaten 2-1 by Israel in Haifa on Thursday night and followed that up with a 3-1 friendly defeat to Portugal at Hampden last night.
Next month Alex McLeish’s team face crunch clashes with Albania in Shkodër and Israel at Hampden to decide their fate in group C1. Aberdeen defender McKenna, pictured, insists the national team can bounce back by winning their group and guaranteeing a play-off to reach the European Championships in 2020.
The 21-year-old said: “It’s disappointing what happened against Israel.
“But we’ve all got to stick together because we’ve got two very important games next month.
“If we win those games then we will top the group and there is a lot to be positive about.
“It was disappointing on Thursday against Israel, but we have to stick together.
“And hopefully next month we can deliver two good performances to top the Nations League group.
“We have what it takes to get two wins.
“I wasn’t involved against Albania (2-0 win at Hampden last month), but we showed what it takes to beat them and hopefully we can do that again.”
Reflecting on last night’s defeat to Portugal, McKenna felt there were positives for Scotland to take.
However, the Dons stopper was disappointed the Dark Blues could not make the most of a first-half which they edged.
Going up the tunnel at half-time at 0-0 would not have been bad, but the Scots were hit with a sucker punch when Helder Costa scored a minute before the interval for the European champions.
McKenna added: “It was a game that we started positively in and showed bravery on the ball.
“We passed it about and got it in between the lines a couple of times – but we couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net.
“Then we conceded a goal just before half-time which was disappointing as it was a sucker punch.
“But it shows that just one lapse in concentration and they will punish you.”
McKenna was winning his sixth cap last night and was the standout performer for Scotland.
The Pittodrie player feels he is improving every time he plays for the national team and hopes his showing against Portugal impressed Gothenburg Great McLeish.
McKenna said: “I do feel playing for Scotland helps me improve.
“It’s a massive honour for me to be here and when I go on the pitch I try to do my best and give the manager a decision to make and hopefully he’ll pick me for the next squad.
“The options you get for Scotland can help you, it’s a lot easier to pass the ball playing for Scotland compared with the club game.
“It can be a bit end-to-end and you are under pressure but that’s just the style of play up here.
“Certainly, with the player round about me it’s easier to pass the ball.”
Portugal were without their superstar Ronaldo last night as well as other big names like Bernardo Silva, Pepe and Rui Patricio.
However, they still boasted striker Eder who fired home the winner two years ago against France in the final of the European Championships.
The Lokomotiv Moscow attacker was playing against McKenna, but the Aberdeen man marshalled him expertly throughout.
Eder did net Portugal’s second, but that was from a free-kick in the second half when he was being marked by Jack Hendry.
McKenna enjoyed the tussle and said: “It was a good tussle with Eder and as a centre-back you have to be concentrating.
“If you switch off for one minute they will punish you by running in behind you.
“And we saw last night that when they do get a chance they take it.”