Luke Chambers insists he could “never walk out” on Kilmarnock’s relegation battle even though he will miss England’s Under-20 World Cup campaign.
The 18-year-old Liverpool left-back, who joined Killie on loan in January, asked to be excluded from Ian Foster’s squad for the prestigious tournament which gets under way in Argentina on Saturday.
Chambers will remain in Scotland, facing St Johnstone at Rugby Park on Saturday as the battle to avoid the drop comes down the last three cinch Premiership fixtures.
Following their 2-0 win over Livingston last weekend, Derek McInnes’ side are in 10th place, three points above bottom club Dundee United and just two points behind ninth-placed Saints.
Chambers, part of the England Under-19 side which won the European Championships last year, said: “It was tough but what Kilmarnock as a club and the staff and players have done for me, I could never just walk out on them when they have three games to go.
“I was always going to stay here and help and contribute to the last three games as much as I can.
“There will be opportunities further down the line when I can go with England. They know the situation.
“They were very understanding and agreed with my decision. I have a good connection with the England manager (Ian Foster) and he understands my decision
“I don’t have any regrets. It was the right decision.
“I have only been here a short period of time but the attachment I have got to the club is massive.
“I have endless respect for the gaffer, the players and the fans. It has been amazing. I have learned a lot.
“People might see it as I’m going back at the end of the season but I see it different.
“The belief in the team has lifted after the win last week and I think we can win on Saturday and just take it from there.”
Killie boss Derek McInnes told Steven MacLean that there are no guarantees in football after the interim St Johnstone boss talked boldly about winning in Ayrshire.
Speaking on the Perth side’s official Twitter account, he said: “We will be in the Premiership. We will go to Kilmarnock and we are going to go and win the game, simple as that and what will be after that will be.”
McInnes said: “I just watched Steven MacLean on TV there and he said that they won’t get relegated and they are coming here and they will win the game on Saturday.
“It is hard to guarantee that as any manager.
“All I can guarantee is we will be ready for a tough game and we will do all we can to win a game of football.”