It may have been said with a smile on her face but there was no disguising the competitive edge as Suzann Pettersen weighed into the pre-bout posturings ahead of the 16th Solheim Cup at Gleneagles.

Danielle Kang, the exuberant Californian, lit the blue touch paper earlier in the week when she stated that the transatlantic tussle left her wanting to “take souls”, make opponents “cry” and “just crush” the opposition.

Asked for a response to the American’s goading, Norwegian Solheim Cup stalwart Pettersen said: “We’re just going to step on their necks.”

It was a line delivered with good humour but, given the fire in the belly that Pettersen possesses, probably one not to be taken lightly.

Pettersen’s European colleague, Jodi Ewart Shadoff, also picked up on Kang’s comments and admitted that the words have helped to fuel the home side’s desire as Catriona Matthew’s side looks to thwart the USA’s bid for a third successive triumph in the biennial bout.

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She said: “I think it’s just extra motivation for us really. I don’t think there will be any tears on our team. Just tears of happiness.”

Pettersen, who was nursing a sore throat ahead of the first day, will not feature in this morning’s opening foursomes but Ewart-Shadoff will.

Matthew has three rookies in her 12-strong team and will plunge two of them – Celine Boutier and Bronte Law – straight into action  in the morning exchanges.

“We wanted to try and get as many rookies out as we could on the first morning,” said Matthew, who also has the big-hitting Dutch debutant Anne Van Dam in her ranks. “If they wait to go on any later it’s just a long hang-on. They’re all keyed up, they are ready to go and I want to get them out.”

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Matthew singled out Law in particular as the epitome of the coiled spring. The Englishwoman, who made her breakthrough on the LPGA Tour this season, has a fine pedigree in team competition and won five matches out of five during a stirring Curtis Cup display for GB&I in 2016. “Bronte was champing at the bit to go,” added Matthew. “I just wanted to get her out early. The longer both she and Celine wait, the more nervous they are going to get.”

Juli Inkster, the USA captain who has steered her country to victories in the last two meetings of the teams, has six newcomers in her line-up. She will blood five of them – Marina Alex, Annie Park, Megan Khang, Brittany Altomare and Nelly Korda – in the opening foursomes.

And as for Kang’s comments? “I don’t think the Europeans need any more ammunition,” said Inkster. “I’m not sure someone could say anything to me to make me want to hit a shot any better.”