Darren Fletcher believes Scotland`s performance against Spain has set the benchmark for the remainder of their Euro 2012 campaign - but warned they must learn to reach their peak against lesser nations than the world champions.
Scotland added Spain to the list of top-class European countries to struggle at Hampden in competitive games this century when they fought back from two goals down before Fernando Llorente struck a 79th-minute winner.
"It's great credit to all the lads, they worked so hard - determination, listening to instructions of the manager and following them to the best of our abilities," the Manchester United midfielder said. "It's important this is the level we must keep now. The fans behind us as well were fantastic. All throughout the game they were different class."
He added: "We`re disappointed in the way we lost the goal but in the same respect Allan (McGregor) has had five or six world-class saves and we rode our luck at times, but you have to expect that against a team like Spain.
"We weren't kidding ourselves, we knew we were up against the best team in the world. But we're disappointed because we got back in the game and felt we could have held on."
Fletcher is accustomed to coping with high expectations at club level but he appreciates that Scotland need to work at meeting such demands.
The 26-year-old was the oldest member of the five-man midfield that started the second half after Charlie Adam also joined James Morrison, Steven Naismith and Graham Dorrans on the park.
"Sometimes it is easier to lift yourselves against the bigger teams when not much is expected," he continued. "It's easier to play the underdog role and we have experienced that in the past.
"The games we are expected to win we do find difficult and that's something we are going to have to get used to.
"There are three games in the group that we must win. We knew at the beginning of the group it was going to be a battle for second place between us and the Czechs, and obviously Lithuania have started well. We're prepared for the battle and there's still a long way to go."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms