Mixed Emotions For McArthur
There will be difficult greetings for Scotland's England-based players as they look forward to different seasons. James McArthur was glad to link up with the Scotland squad ahead of their Carling Nations Cup games in Dublin this week and still be able to call himself a Premier League player. Wigan's 1-0 win over Stoke at the Britannia Stadium on Sunday secured the Latics top-flight football for another season. At the end of a dramatic afternoon, where the clubs in the drop zone chopped and changed throughout the ninety minutes, Birmingham and Blackpool were relegated alongside already-down West Ham, leaving players and fans of Wigan, Wolves and Blackburn breathing huge sighs of relief. Former Hamilton midfielder McArthur re-lived the great escape as he prepared to meet Wales tonight. He said: "It was a great season for us. We have performed excellently in the last three months and it was great to get out of the situation. It was very nervous at times at the end. We were only one goal away from going down when it was 1-1 with Birmingham (at Tottenham, who went on to win 2-1). We went through every emotion that there is in that 90 minutes but I am just so thankful we stayed up." McArthur was sorry for Scotland teammates Blackpool's Charlie Adam, Matt Gilks and Stephen Crainey, who are to meet up with the rest of the national squad in Dublin. The Wigan player said: "He (Charlie) is not here yet but I am absolutely devastated for him and the boys. They have performed excellently this year and they have deserved to stay in the league but the Premiership is a cut-throat business." Scotland's first game in the inaugural international tournament in February brought a McArthur goal in the 3-0 win over Northern Ireland and he is hoping for more of the same when he returns to the Aviva Stadium tonight. He said: "It was brilliant to play for your country and score. Hopefully I will get a bit of time again and do well. We want to win every game, no matter whether it is a friendly or a cup competition. There is a great winning mentality here and we will be doing our best to get the result."
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