Claret Arfield still eyes Scots’ call
SCOTT Arfield says he hasn’t given up on his Scotland dream, but his priority is to keep playing well for Burnley.
The Clarets midfielder – an ever-present in Sean Dyche’s line-up since the beginning of November – had been watched by Gordon Strachan’s scouts in the run-up to the squad announcement for next month’s friendly with Poland.
The 24-year-old did not make the cut this time.
But while it remains an ambition he hopes any such rewards will come from him impressing for the Clarets.
“Hopefully I’ll get there and hopefully keeping that (Burnley) shirt’s good enough,” said summer signing Arfield, who scored the opening goal – his sixth of the season – in Burnley’s win over Nottingham Forest.
“The (Scotland) squad got announced last week. It’s always been well documented the midfield is the strongest area of the squad so if I can even get in contention I would be delighted with it.
“But it’s just about keeping my place in the (Burnley) team.”
While Arfield’s luck is out on this occasion, Clarets’ team-mate Sam Vokes will again be away on international duty next month.
Burnley’s second top scorer has, as expected, been called up to the Wales squad for their friendly at home to Iceland on March 5.
And Arfield is pleased to see the 18-goal striker get the wider recognition that feels are warranted.
“Fans don’t see what he does in training. Him and Ingsy (Danny Ings) up top have been an absolute pleasure to play with,” said the Scot.
“Ingsy gets all the headlines because he’s got most of the goals, but Sam’s beginning to get the plaudits he deserves and the fans are chanting his name.”
Vokes scored twice against Forest to bring his partnership with Ings up to 42 goals as Forest were soundly beaten 3-1 at Turf Moor.
“Vokesy’s second was a touch fortunate but I think we deserved everything,” said Arfield.
“In the second half we knew they were going to come out and it was up to us to stand by it.
“Tom (Heaton) would have wanted a clean sheet, along with the rest of the boys. It never happened, but we got the three points we needed.”
Of his first goal this calendar year, Arfield added: “I think the keeper should have done a wee bit better but I’m not complaining.
“The keeper got a touch but it bounced into the roof of the net.”