Lewis Mayo expressed his international ambitions as he looks to help Kilmarnock back into Europe.
The 23-year-old centre-back, who signed from Rangers last summer after a year-long loan spell at the Ayrshire club, has played through the age groups with Scotland up to under-21 level.
His form this season has been key to Derek McInnes’ side moving into fourth place in the cinch Premiership ahead of the game against Motherwell at Fir Park on Saturday.
When asked if making the step up to Steve Clarke’s squad was a realistic aim, Mayo said: “I would love it to be. It is not up to me to decide.
“It is just about taking it week by week and just try to get the best out of myself at Kilmarnock.
“For me personally, I just want to keep my place in the team, keep pushing myself, try to be as consistent as I can, try to continue to improve it and you always give yourself that chance.
“I obviously was lucky that when I was a young player, I got in the youth teams of Scotland. So the A squad is the natural next step. And that’s something for me just to keep plugging away at.
“I’d love to go and make that leap and get myself in a squad. But I do that by doing my best at club level and see what happens.”
Mayo, who also had previous loan spells at Partick Thistle and Dunfermline, noted it has only been five years since the Rugby Park club finished third, under Clarke, when quizzed about the possibility of a European spot.
He said: “I keep coming back to it but it wasn’t long ago Kilmarnock finished third and got European football. I think everyone here wants to taste that again.
“But you know what football is like, there is always a reminder just round the corner.
“It’s a very competitive league. There’s a lot of good teams, and we’re going to need to be at our best on Saturday to get a result. I don’t think anyone is getting carried away.
“Looking at the table, we’re in a healthy position and we’ll get a lot to draw confidence from the start of the season.
“It’s now a big push before the split to put us in the best possible position.
“I think it’s different stages. I think the first stage is to get to the top six before the split, that’s got to be a big goal for us.
“And then from there, we can reset again. Look at the last few games of the season and go let’s go again. Let’s see how high we can go.”
STV News is now on WhatsApp
Get all the latest news from around the countryFollow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp
Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country