Arfield’s confident of Premier League return
The 26-year-old, who joined from Huddersfield Town in the summer of 2013, believes the club can mount another serious challenge should the bulk of the squad remain intact.
Of the 14 players to make 10 or more league starts in the top flight last term, 11 were instrumental in helping Sean Dyche’s side cement a runner-up finish in their last Championship campaign, though that figure also accounts for Danny Ings.
And the Scot believes that will prove hugely beneficial: “The core of the squad will be here next season and most of them were here the season before so we’ll know what it takes to get out of there.
“It just shows you what we’ve got in that dressing room because for most of the season we were in the top two that season. We got here on merit, not by luck.
“When you look at the squad you’d like to think that team there is one of the strongest in the Championship.
“We came through it with flying colours the other season. That’s what we’ve got to do next season.”
Arfield’s first taste of the top flight has exacerbated the former Falkirk midfielder’s hunger to get back there. However, he understands that England’s second tier has become an even more competitive division.
“Once you get a taste of this level of football you just want to be here every single week.
“You want to stay here to play against the big players in front of big numbers of fans and have the big boys coming to town. We want to get back here as soon as possible.
“It’s disappointing when things like this happen but we need to come back stronger and strive for success again.
“That’s what we’ll try to do next season. We can take great credit for what we’ve achieved even though we’ve gone down.
“We’ve looked at everybody buzzing off us in terms of how we’ve played the game and that’s exactly what we want to do next season to get back here.”
He added: “The Championship is tough. It’s going to be hard mentally and physically going back to Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday games for a couple of months.
“It’s quite a short summer so I just need to re-charge the batteries and keep ticking over to keep on top of those fitness levels.
“Then return for that first week of pre-season to get back to this level as soon as possible.
“You’ve got Preston coming up and Middlesbrough missed out in the play-off final.
“There’s obviously QPR and Hull who came down too. It’s definitely going to be stronger next season and it’s a difficult league to get out of.”