Tom Cairney: Fulham midfielder targets Scotland berth

Tom Cairney playing for Scotland against Canada
Tom Cairney's only cap so far came in last March's 1-1 draw at home to Canada
International friendly: Scotland v Costa Rica
Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow Date: Friday, 23 March Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland; text commentary on BBC Sport website.

Fulham captain Tom Cairney believes he can transfer his club form to international football with Scotland.

Cairney, capped once a year ago in a friendly with Canada, was called into Alex McLeish's first squad since the manager returned to the national job.

The Scots face Costa Rica at Hampden on Friday and Hungary away on Tuesday.

"I look to do what I do for my club, get on the ball and try and make us play and nick a goal if I can," said 27-year-old Cairney.

"I've been playing well the last few seasons for Fulham. I feel like I'm getting better. I feel like I'm playing good football. Hopefully, I can carry that on in Scotland.

"I'd like to think that I could try and get a place in this team, as hard as that is. There's a lot of very good midfield players here.

"To be selected in [Alex McLeish's] first squad is great. There's a lot of new faces here as well. We have got to kind of hit the ground running if we can as early as possible.

"New start. New regime. It's obviously got a good feeling to it, so hopefully we can get off to a good start on Friday."

Cairney, who has scored two goals in his last three games, believes taking on the captaincy at Fulham, where he plays with fellow Scotland squad member Kevin McDonald, has enhanced his game.

Kevin McDonald autographs a Scotland jersey
Kevin McDonald (left) is still waiting on his first Scotland cap

"I've liked the responsibility," Cairney said. "The gaffer [Slavisa Jokanovic] putting that faith in me, putting me as captain, has taken my game on to a new level.

"I've played with [Kevin McDonald] two years now and we've had good success at Fulham.

"He's a little bit more defensive than me. He protects the back four very well and he gets on the ball at the start. We know each other very well, so if we do end up playing together for Scotland then it would be okay.

"The boys finished quite strong [in the unsuccessful World Cup qualifying campaign]. We've got to carry on where we left off. We need to qualify for a major tournament and hopefully we can do that."

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