Scott Arfield looking forward to Yaya Toure test

Burnley's Scott Arfield''Photographer Dave Howarth/CameraSport''Football
Burnley's Scott Arfield''Photographer Dave Howarth/CameraSport''Football

Midfielder Scott Arfield admits Dean Marney is a hard act to follow.

But he hopes by showing his versatility and filling in for the injured former Hull City man in central midfield will show Scotland coach Gordon Strachan another string to his bow.

Marney was ruled out for the rest of the season and beyond after suffering cruciate knee ligament damage against West Brom at the start of February.

With a dearth of central midfield options, it meant Arfield switching inside from his wider midfield role, and he said: “I think Deano has been magnificent, so they are big boots to fill at times, but it’s been quite an easy transition just moving in, especially playing with the likes of Jonah (David Jones).

“He’s so easy on the ball and his positional sense is magnificent.

“It’s not been too difficult and it’s very enjoyable.

“The way I play, I kind of come inside, but it’s more starting positions when the centre backs have the ball, it’s different on that side, but positionally it’s not too different.

“But a couple of yards is massive in this league, if a player runs off you or a pass goes through you, once of happens once, you don’t want it to happen again, you have to be switched on 100%.”

Arfield, 26, has been capped by Scotland at Under 19, 21 and B level, but never by the full squad, although assistant Mark McGhee recently admitted he is on the national side’s radar, and the former Falkirk man admitted: “It’s my ambition, I’ve said that many times. I’d love to be involved but it’s not something that I will let make or break my season.

“I was desperate to be involved but the squad the manager has picked has done magnificent.

“I’m desperate to be involved but if it doesn’t happen you look to the next one.

“You take great heart when someone takes an interest in you. But bonuses like that come from staying in this team and playing every game. I’d welcome it with open arms.”

With earl competition for places in the Scotland midfield, Arfield’s ability to play anywhere across the Middle could be an asset: “It might do - there’s a lot of players who can play everywhere and don’t really need a position to get in a squad. You don’t want to fall into that category but I’ll play wherever.”

While Arfield has an eye on the imminent Scotland squad announcement, there has been speculation that striker Danny Ings could earn a first call for the full England squad.

Arfield feels he would be a big asset to the Auld Enemy: “If it happens then he’s thoroughly deserved it but it’s different to our own nation.

“They’ve got world class strikers. Ingsy has been on fire since Christmas, getting goals, his movement his second to none. But look at the calibre of the players - Kane, Austin. If it happens, we’d be delighted but he’s got a big job on here.”

Meanwhile, Arfield is looking forward to pitting his wits against world class talent such as Yaya Toure as champions Manchester City come to Turf Moor this evening.

He is encouraged by the 2-2 draw at the Etihad Stadium in December, when Burnley recovered from two goals down at half-time: “Coming from two goals down at a stadium like that, backs to the wall, you can take a lot from that.

“We know it’s going to be difficult, but we know what we’ve got in the dressing room, we’ve got a strong mentality, we all work for each other and technically and ability-wise we’ve got that as well.

“Obviously first half they were superb at times, and if they got the next goal it was going to be very difficult, but we got a goal, and goals change games.

“To get one so early, and start getting control of the ball and passing it about, then Barnesy pops up with an equaliser.”

Burnley are in the middle of a testing run of fixtures, with a trip to Southampton and home games against Spurs and Arsenal to follow, but he said: “A lot has been made of the fixtures we’ve had, but you need to play the, at some point, it’s what we signed up for last season, it’s brilliant to get a taste of it, and once you do, you want to stay here.

“Its like 10 cup finals.

“It’s kind of easier to get up for games against the Citys, Uniteds, Liverpools, they are the games you look forward to, every game is enjoyable in this division, but you want to get on the ball and show what you can do against the big boys.

“They are all world class international calibre players and we’re under no illusions.

“They’re top players, you want to play against them every week, it’s who you dream of playing against.

“We are at the stage where every point matters, and whoever we come up against, every game is important.”