JAMIE Murphy is eyeing up a first Scotland cap this weekend as he aims to top off an impressive start to 2018.

The winger’s early displays for Rangers were recognised when Alex McLeish called him up into his first squad last week, highlighting the good work the 28-year-old has done since his January move from Brighton.

Murphy has had a call up before but has never pulled on the Scotland shirt in action and he would like to see some minutes against Costa Rica and Hungary over the coming seven days.

He said: “It is always the aim when you come away, you want to get some game time and be involved. Hopefully I can be involved in a winning team.

“If you are playing regular football at a good level then you are always in with a chance of being in the squad.

“I am doing well but I always want to keep trying to get better and improving. It felt great to get the call-up.

“It would mean a lot, it is something I have always wanted, to play for my country. I was disappointed not to get a cap before so I want to do my best.

“Coming away, I am training with new players and  meeting the manager, so I want to get myself involved and get some game time.

“He (McLeish) played for Scotland a lot and had a great career and he is someone to look up to. That can only be good for Scotland to have someone that has been there and done it before.

“Getting a Scotland cap would be a big thing, it is something that has always pushed me on in my career and I always wanted to get it. It drives me on.

“You want to impress the new manager, you want to impress the coaching staff and you want to impress the other players in the team.

“You want to have a good week away and do well in the games and if you do that then hopefully you will be in future squads.

“That is kind of the message. The more you can do, the better chance you have of being there in the future.”

While Murphy has impressed Graeme Murty at Ibrox he now has to win over a former Gers manager in McLeish.

The forward has netted three goals since January and also notched up an impressive list of assists – something he knows he must carry over into his international set-up.

He continued:

“The only pressure is the pressure you put on yourself. You want to do well as a player; you want to do well for your country.

“We have got the support of the whole country, everyone comes together when there is a game and everyone wants the national team to win. We are the same as players and we want to do the best we can.

“I think I am one of the older ones that have come straight in and there are talented players in there.

“It is a chance for the players to impress and show the new manager what they can do.

“There are young players as well and that can only be good for the country that these players are coming through and are getting their opportunity.

“We have obviously not been at a major tournament for a long time and that is definitely the aim now. We are all here wanting the same thing so hopefully it is a good start.

“I know a few from being in it (the squad) before, a few from the 21s, a few from playing against them.

“There is a good mix in there, some boys have been here and done it and some new boys that haven’t been here before.

“It is good it is at Hampden and it is a team that we don’t normally play so it is good for the fans to see someone different as well. It is one we are looking forward to.”

Photo Credit: @ScottishFA

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