Ashley Barnes is hoping that he’ll be given a decision to make when it comes to choosing his allegiance on the international front.
Both England boss Gareth Southgate and Austria coach Franco Foda were at Turf Moor to witness the Burnley striker score the winner against Spurs at the weekend.
The 29-year-old, who netted his eighth Premier League goal of the campaign when beating Hugo Lloris from close range in the 83rd minute, is eligible to represent both nations, with his Austrian heritage courtesy of his paternal grandmother.
Foda was at the London Stadium last season to run the rule over Barnes - while also keeping a close eye on West Ham United forward Marko Arnautovic - and was reportedly pleased with what he saw, with the former Brighton and Hove Albion man claiming a goal and an assist.
He was capped for Austria’s Under 20s just over 10 years ago when he faced Switzerland, making his debut as a substitute as he replaced FC Wacker Innsbruck’s Julius Perstaller.
However, Barnes also feels that he’s got something to offer the Three Lions. “First and foremost my aim is to keep Burnley in the Premier League,” he said. “What will be, will be. We will see what happens in the future.”
“It would be something I’d like to do. I’d like to have a chat and see what happens.
“It may be a bit strange playing for Austria because I was born here, but I’m eligible through my gran. I just need to keep working hard and do my talking on the pitch.
“I have every faith in my ability. If that happened [an England call up], then I’d have to make a choice and I’d have to choose wisely. But first and foremost I need to concentrate on Burnley.”
“I think I bring something completely different to the whole squad. But that decision isn’t down to me.
“I’m a Marmite kind of player, you either love me or hate me. That does not bother me. I know my own ability and how good I am.”
Barnes and strike partner Chris Wood have only been outscored by Manchester City’s all-time record goalscorer Sergio Aguero since the turn of the calendar year.
They have 18 goals as a pack in the 18 starts they’ve had together for the Clarets, which has brought 32 points from those specific fixtures.
“Long may it continue, hopefully until the end of the season,” said Barnes. “We need to keep knocking on and we have a little competition between us.
“We have a goals target, but it is one we keep on the training ground. We’ll keep going and fighting hard.
“I think we have always had that connection every time we’ve played. We know each other, we complement each other’s game and we’re doing well.”
Barnes appreciates that Burnley’s success is down to more than just the front two.
They kept Spurs uncharacteristically quiet at the weekend, negating the threats of Heung-Min Son and Christian Eriksen while World Cup Golden Boot winner Harry Kane, with the exception of his goal, wasn’t given a sniff.
“I just think it’s the whole collective [that helps them tick],” he said. “The squad is more important than us two. That’s what we are out there to do - pick up the points, and that’s what we did today.
“It was a huge, huge result for the team and we needed that.
“Their squad is unbelievable so for us to go out there and put in a performance like that was remarkable.”
“It was about the whole team today. We fought for everything. We left everything out on the pitch and that’s what we needed to do.”
Sean Dyche’s side go in to Tuesday night’s fixture against Newcastle United at St James’s Park unbeaten in eight games in the top flight, the club’s best sequence at this level since 1966.
This spell has lifted the Clarets to 14th place in the division, two points above Rafa Benitez’s Magpies.
Barnes said: “It’s an amazing achievement. We just need to keep going and we have another cup final game on Tuesday against Newcastle and if we can get another three points there, it will look a lot better.
“That’s some achievement. We keep hitting these targets and long may it continue.”