Ryan Gauld & Billy Gilmour harbour Scotland hopes

Billy Gilmour played the full 90 minutes in Chelsea's 1-1 draw against Krasnodar
Billy Gilmour played the full 90 minutes in Chelsea's 1-1 draw against Krasnodar

Ryan Gauld and Billy Gilmour have ambitions of representing Scotland but know they face a challenge to break into Steve Clarke's squad.

Gilmour, 19, made his first start this season for Chelsea in Tuesday's Champions League draw with Krasnodar.

Gauld, 24, is enjoying life as a regular for Farense in the Portuguese top flight.

"Scotland have a lot of top quality midfielders, so I know it won't be easy," Gauld told BBC Sportsound.

"If I just keep my head down and, most importantly, keep playing, then I'm still hopeful.

"I'm not thinking too much about it. I can only do my part on the pitch."

Gauld left Dundee United for Sporting in 2014 but left the Lisbon giants last year for a permanent move to Farense after a series of loan spells, including a brief injury-hit time at Hibernian.

He was top scorer as the club clinched promotion and was voted the second tier's player of the year.

At the weekend, he scored his third goal of the season and laid on his fourth assist in nine league matches as Farenese beat Maritimo 2-1.

Gauld insists he has "no regrets" about moving to Portugal as a teenager.

"There was pressure initially but I tried not to listen, shut it all out," he said. "I always wanted to go abroad, learn a new lifestyle, a new language, and I didn't know if I would get that opportunity again. It took longer than expected to adapt but I feel confident now.

"At the moment, I'm playing week-in, week-out. It's the best I've performed since coming over.

"I have always had confidence in my own ability, but I have improved a lot tactically and physically."

Gilmour has recently returned from a long-term knee injury and made his Champions League debut as a late substitute in last week's victory at Sevilla.

Prior to the game against Krasnodar, he said: "I feel strong, I can't wait to get going.

"The gaffer has been really good with me, he was speaking to me while I was injured.

"I need to work hard and play well to get my opportunities with Chelsea. For Scotland, I just need to wait and see. It would be amazing."

Competition for places at Stamford Bridge is fierce, with England internationals Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek currently out on loan at Premier League rivals, along with fellow midfielder Conor Gallagher.

However, manager Frank Lampard played down the prospect of Gilmour following them out of the club in search of more game time.

"I don't want to have that thought or conversation until the window opens," he said.

"I value him a lot in this squad. We have options in midfield, but that can quickly change as we've seen with the winger situation."

'The Chelsea fans absolutely love him'

Former Scotland international Pat Nevin on Billy Gilmour.

The Chelsea midfield is a pretty cramped place and it's hard to get a game. But the fans absolutely love him and are desperate for him to do well.

I really believe in him, He fits perfectly for Chelsea's style of play. He doesn't seem spooked by the quality of players around him.

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