Currently away on international duty with Scotland and building up towards tonight’s World Cup qualifying clash with Belgium, midfielder James McArthur took some time out to talk about the advantages of a busy schedule, both for his country and for Wigan Athletic.
The 25-year-old said:
“It’s always good to go away and represent your country because it’s something you dream of as a kid.
“I know we’ve got a hard schedule ahead of us this season at club level but it’s always an honour to come away and represent Scotland.
“It will set me up well for coming back into a busy environment with a lot of games in front of us.”
Playing games-after-game is something McArthur admitted to enjoying and added:
“For me playing football is the best feeling in the world no matter what day it’s on and it’s even better when you’re playing regularly whether that means once a week or Saturday and Tuesday like we’ll have to do this season.
“Hopefully because we’ve got games close together we can build some momentum and carry on what we did against Nottingham Forest.”
Tonight McArthur and the Scotland team host World Cup qualifying group A leaders Belgium at Hampden Park, an opponent he says the team knows very well:
“Our last game against Belgium was a tough one and they’re a very good side.
“They’ve got players playing right through the Premier League and we know it’s going to be a tough test but we’ve got a good squad ourselves and we’ll be looking to cause them some problems.”
Having beaten Croatia in their last World Cup qualifying outing, McArthur said the team is progressing very well and that he’s happy with the current international situation.
“Everything has been really positive in the camp and it was important to beat a top side like Croatia in the last qualifying game.
“We put on a good display against England as well in our last match and we were unfortunate to lose 3-2.
“We took positives from the England game in that we scored two goals at Wembley Stadium and not many nations go there and do that.
“Obviously we were disappointed to lose three goals but it gave us a good chance to look at the mistakes we made and try and rectify them for the next matches.
“There are great vibes about the place and we’re all very positive about the games coming up.”
We’ll catch up with all of our players who feature with their national sides with our international round-up, so keep an eye out on the website for more.