SCOTLAND manager Craig Levein gained some encouragement from analysing World Cup opponents Croatia despite their impressive victory over the Republic of Ireland.
Croatia, who are the top seeds in Scotland's qualifying group, were deserved 3-1 winners over the Irish in their opening Euro 2012 game with former Rangers ace Nikica Jelavic and Mario Mandzukic on target.
However, Sean St Ledger's headed goal from a free-kick was one of several things that gave Levein some hope as he watched in Poznan.
"I'm still trying to decide whether they were really good or if Ireland maybe just underperformed a little bit," said Levein.
"I wasn't surprised by Croatia, I knew they were a good side. They are No.1 seeds in our group so you expect them to be a good team.
"What I was hoping was to see something we could maybe take encouragement from.
"There were a few things I felt that we could look at and learn from that could give us an opportunity to score against them."
Levein was impressed with the attacking play of wing-backs Darijo Srna and Ivan Strinic but he hopes their style leaves them open when Scotland go to Croatia next year.
"Srna plays like a winger," Levein said. "He has got great energy and experience. The way Ivan Rakitic tucked in was clever and the two of them linked very well. That's an area we have to watch out for.
"But when you're as brave as that in the full-back areas, if you can get a quick transition and get the ball forward into the wide positions, there are opportunities there.
"The two full-backs aren't defenders – that's what I see."