Park Life – James McArthur happy to work on fitness during international break but eager to represent country in future qualifiers
With Christopher Park buzzing with activity in the build-up to the weekend and the international fixtures ending, James McArthur admitted it was tough not to be with his national team.
Although, the time away from matches has helped him to recover and improve the strength in his back, a problem which occurred in the latter stages of pre-season.
“The international break has come at a perfect time for me because I’ve needed this bit of time to get my back better and make sure it is going to be right for the rest of the season.
“I like going away with the national team and it is good to get away usually because you just want to keep up that rhythm of playing games.
“Obviously I really want to be there representing my country but at the same time I think I’ve needed this week to focus on my own fitness because first and foremost I need to be fit to play for the Club.”
With two Under 21 and seven senior internationals away from the team there is a lot of football to watch but, McArthur has his eye on one team.
“I follow the other guys who have gone out for their countries but, my main focus is Scotland because it gives me a chance to watch how the team is playing together and of course scout the opposition for the next time we play them.
“We were very unlucky against Serbia, we had some very good chances and if it wasn’t for Vladimir Stojkovic who used to play here we would have won that game.
“Gary (Caldwell) did very well, I spoke to him after the game and he was very tired with all the running he had to do in midfield.”
Tuesday night saw Scotland pick up another draw as they came from behind at home to Macedonia in a game that McArthur saw as a big one to kick-start the qualifying campaign.
“It was a big game for us and we needed the sort of start that can be built on to qualify from the group.
“It is a difficult group but we have some very good players ourselves and a lot of players are playing in the Premier League just now which I think shows the quality of Scottish talent.”