Arfield can’t wait to get going again

Scott Arfield in action on New Years Day against Newcastle United
Scott Arfield in action on New Years Day against Newcastle United

Midfielder Scott Arfield believes the 3-3 draw with Newcastle United at St James’ Park highlights the togetherness and shared ambition of the Clarets squad.

Sean Dyche became the first Premier League manager in just under six years to make three first half changes after skipper Jason Shackell and replacement Kevin Long were withdrawn injured while Dean Marney was suffering from illness.

Arfield was one of a number of players forced to switch positions when reverting back to a central role that the 26-year-old had undertaken earlier in the campaign.

Other transformations saw Kieran Trippier switch to left back, Ben Mee moved in to the heart of defence to partner Michael Keane and Steven Reid played at right back.

“We coped, even with three injuries in the first half-an-hour and then players making up positions,” Arfield said. “That shows the character that we’ve got in the dressing room. To come here and get a point from St James’ Park – we’re happy with that.

“I’ve never been involved in anything like that. You normally get to about the 80th minute with a substitution left. To have done that in half-an-hour at a stadium like this where the fans really get behind their team – we had to really stand up and show what we’re all about.

“I believe we did that from the 30th minute on to the 90th. We really showed what we’ve got on the bench, the boys came on and showed we’re striving for the same thing.”

Arfield added: “I think it definitely shows what we’re all about and what the gaffer’s installed in us. It’s the belief that we have, we know we’re not here to make up the numbers.

“We were unlucky last week at City. We definitely looked the strongest in terms of fitness, we really pushed for that winner and it was the same again today. “To come to a place like this and City and knocking the ball about like we did shows we belong.

“There’s nothing in the dressing room that needs combating; there’s no egos. We’re all on the same page and I think that showed last season to get us in this position where we are now.

“Last year we were all striving for the same outcome and it worked. We all want the same outcome this year and hopefully it will work again.”

The Scot is now relishing tonight’s FA Cup tie with Spurs at Turf Moor. While Manuel Pellegrini, Louis Van Gaal and Wayne Rooney – among others – continue to struggle with the demands of the festive period, Arfield admits the Clarets can’t wait to go again.

“As soon as you hear about the FA Cup you want to be involved in it,” he said. “We want to go as far as we can. Tonight will be no different to Thursday really – we’ll be ready to go and we want to get in to the next round.

“There’s no point in dressing it up in any way. There’s fixtures there that you need to play, fans pay the money to come and watch you so the least you can do is to work hard and stop moaning about it really.”