Arfield’s Scotland ambition

Birthday boy: Scott Arfield battles with Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez on his 26th birthday at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday
Birthday boy: Scott Arfield battles with Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez on his 26th birthday at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday

With the announcement of the Scotland squad imminent, Burnley midfielder Scott Arfield is hoping he has done enough to merit selection.

Arfield, who turned 26 on Saturday, has arguably been one of the Clarets best performers so far this season in the Premier League.

But he has yet to make his full debut for his country, having represented Scotland at Under 19, 21 and B level.

It is four years since his last international involvement, but Arfield admits it remains a big ambition of his to pull on the dark blue shirt in front of the Tartan Army.

Gordon Strachan has so far overlooked the former Falkirk man, who netted nine goals last term as Burnley were promoted.

But as he finalises his squad to face the Republic of Ireland in a crucial European Championship qualifier next Friday - followed by the small matter of the visit of the Auld Enemy England the following Tuesday - Arfield is keeping his fingers crossed he will get an opportunity to impress.

He said of his aim: “It always has been and it always will be, I’ve never hidden away from the fact that it’s an ambition to play for your country and if I can do that in any way I’d be delighted.

“I’ve had no word at all, the first I see is when the squads go up, and then watch the games.

“They’ve had a great campaign so far and if I could get in there and the gaffer sees fit I’d be delighted.”

It is about maintaining his club form, but he accepts, with Scotland on the crest of a wave currently, it would be an exciting time to be involved: “First of all you need to keep playing and stay in that team. It’s all about a Saturday to hit your heights and your standards personally that you believe in. Anything after that is a bonus - to play for your country is the pinnacle really, but first of all it’s about staying in that starting line-up.

“The manager up there has changed the whole mindset of the whole country, everyone is behind it.

“It’s that time that you really want to be involved in that and I’ve never hidden away from the fact that I’d be buzzing to be there.”

And to be involved against England?: “It would be brilliant to be part of that.”