Steve Clarke admits he was impressed by Scotland 's resilience as they fired six past lowly San Marino.
With Euro 2020 qualification from Group I already out of sight, the Scotland boss is now building for the Nations League play off in March.
That journey got under way at rain-soaked Hampden on Sunday as John McGinn 's first-half hat-trick was embellished with strikes from Lawrence Shankland, Stuart Findlay and Stuart Armstrong.
Against the world's lowest ranked side, Clarke believes his side were "on a hiding to nothing" in difficult conditions at the national stadium, with the ball holding up in puddles as the rain battered down.
But the Scotland boss insists they've shown character after a bruising 4-0 defeat in Russia just days earlier.
"It was a good performance. It's not often a Scottish team will run up six goals," Clarke told Sky Sports.
"I thought the attitude from the first whistle was great, even in the second half when the pitch became very tricky we kept trying to get the goals.
"It's a nice reward at the end of a difficult week.
"(On the pitch) I think it's difficult. We wanted to pass the ball and we moved it really well in the early part of the game which got us in front.
"We wanted to do that in the second half but obviously it started sticking in the puddles. We still managed to find the right passes into the box and got some good goals.
"They've got character, they've got resilience. It's never easy, we were on a hiding to nothing here tonight.
"But they've shown they've got the character to come back from a bad blow.
"It's not so much about trying different things. Even tonight we tried to keep the shape of the team similar to what it was in the previous games because we're working towards an end target - the play off games next March.
"Before we get there we have to go to Cyprus. They lost heavily today at home so we go there one point behind with a chance to go above them.
"The immediate objective is to win that game and get up the table."
Clarke handed full debuts to Shankland and Findlay following the former's sub appearance in Moscow on Thursday.
The Dundee United striker produced a trademark finish after the interval, collecting Scott McTominay's shot after it crashed off the bar to slot into the open net.
And Findlay, who was a pivotal figure under Clarke at Kilmarnock, nodded home a memorable goal of his own minutes later.
Clarke heaped praise on the pair and challenged his entire squad to show they've got the desire to end a two-decade major tournament absence.
He added: "I think Stuart did well, good for him to get a goal on his debut. Lawrence Shankland got a striker's goal which is great on his full debut as well.
"All the boys that have come in have shown me what they can do. I know what some of them can do anyway, I worked with Stuart Findlay last year so I was never worried about him tonight.
"It's nice for him to get his debut and score a goal. The rest of them, they just need to keep showing me they want to be part of this Scotland squad going forward.