Scottish Football Association chief executive Ian Maxwell believes the national team will benefit from its first tournament experience in more than two decades.
Steve Clarke led Scotland this summer to delay the 2020 European Championships, the country’s first major tournament since the 1998 World Cup final in France.
Scotland failed to qualify in their squad after losing to the Czech Republic and Croatia in the 2018 World Cup final at Hampden Park with a goalless draw against England at Wembley between the two.
However, Maxwell has drawn positives from the experience and believes the Scottish team will do the same.
He added: “Croatia probably sometimes lags us a bit and shows a little bit of knowledge about the tournament that we probably didn’t have.
“When you look at how they handled their matches, they had England first which was difficult, they came into the Czech match thinking, ‘Don’t get beaten up and if we beat Scotland we’ll be finished’
“While we invested so much in the Czech game because it was the first game, so much in the England game because it is England and it means a lot and it was a great result.
“By the time the game against Croatia started we were probably in a different place, physically and mentally.
“I think it’s the tournament experience that we don’t have yet and these guys are doing it. You can’t get to the World Cup final without knowing what you’re doing. “
“But I think we played well,” Maxwell continued. “You think you have a chance to get out of the group but it was always going to be difficult.
“We were there till the last game and we should be proud to account for ourselves well.
“It was nice to hear Andy (Robertson), John McGinn and a few others saying after the tournament that they don’t want this to be an ‘at least we got it’ type of reaction.
“It’s ‘we’ve been there, we love it, let’s go and do it again’ and these guys play at a high level every week, they want to test themselves and learn from three games and start Want to. It was encouraging. Listen.
“We cannot wait 23 years for the next tournament. “
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