ROSS Wallace says he has not given up on a return to the Scotland squad during his time at Burnley.
Wallace committed himself to the Clarets until the summer of 2015 earlier this week when he signed a new contract at the club, and has made promotion to the Premier League a major priority ahead of this afternoon’s trip to Bolton Wanderers.
But the 27-year-old also retains hope of performing to a high enough level to persuade new Scotland boss Gordon Strachan to give him another chance.
Wallace spent a year playing under Strachan at Celtic, before departing for Sunderland in search of more regular football.
The Dundee-born wide man earned his only cap for his country during his time at Preston in 2009.
Strachan has shown a willingness to consider all options for his squad – calling up Rangers’ Lee Wallace from the Scottish Third Division for the friendly with Estonia earlier this week.
Asked if international ambitions were now out of his mind, Burnley’s Wallace said: "I’ve not given up, no.
“I worked under Gordon Strachan at Celtic and played with him there.
“It’s just one of them, you just continue to play and hopefully people are watching.
“If I can just keep plugging away, trying to play as well as I possibly can, hopefully that call comes.”
Wallace was one of several players whose deal was due to expire this summer and is glad to have his future resolved.
The Scot now says he will attempt to persuade his other out-of-contract team-mates to stay, with more interest also expected for Charlie Austin in the summer. The striker has 18 months left on his Turf deal.
“We’ve got a good squad and good nucleus of players to work with,” Wallace said.
"I think the main thing for us is keeping hold of our players, that’s the most important thing.
“Charlie is one but we’ve got other ones out of contract as well, who will hopefully get sorted.
“That will probably be my job now to try to convince them every day until the end of the season!
“Hopefully these guys sign, we’ve got a good team spirit, I know everybody says that but we have. It’s a great bunch of lads.
“The contract situation wasn’t bothering me too much but obviously you would still think about it and what was going to happen in the future.
“I’m just delighted to get it done, it didn’t take long either to be honest.
“Obviously I was at Preston before here so my family have been here for a number of years, we’ve got kids in school and we didn’t really want to move.
“But I didn’t want to base my decision just on my family and not moving, football comes first for me and I’m playing games and happy playing football.
“We’ve got a good team here and if we can just keep that and add to that, we’ve got a good chance of going up.”
Asked if he could envisage potentially staying at the club for the rest of his career, Wallace added: “You don’t want to look too far ahead but it’s a possibility, you just never know what’s in the future.
“I’ve signed this contract now and it will take me up to 30 or 31, so why not?”
Burnley have now sold out their allocation of around 3,500 tickets for today’s trip to Bolton and Wallace is targeting three more points to aid the club’s promotion push.
But he knows the potential danger still posed by a Bolton side relegated from the Premier League last season – even if they currently sit 20th in the table.
“It has surprised me a little bit,” he said of Bolton’s league position.
“They’ve got some really good players, but I think it’s only a matter of time, they might just need to adjust to the Championship. They’ll be okay.
“When I was at Sunderland we were in the bottom half but we picked up and won near enough every game in the second half of the season, and ended up getting promoted.
“Bolton can still pick up their form, they’ve got a good side. But hopefully they don’t pick up against us.
“We’ve done our homework on them, the manager is going there with a gameplan and hopefully we can pick up three points.”