Ghana midfielder Prince Buaben has claimed that he left Carlisle United because playing in League One was damaging his 2014 World Cup ambitions.
The Ghana midfielder played for 83 minutes for Patrick Thistle in their 1-1 draw with Dundee United after joining the Scottish Premiership club on loan for the rest of the season.
That came after Blues boss Graham Kavanagh claimed Buaben had been dispatched north of the border due to disciplinary issues including being late for training.
The 25-year-old, though, says his international hopes were behind his move.
“Myself and my agent have been speaking to the Ghana manager Akwasi Appiah and he told me I need to be playing at a good level to have a chance of going to the World Cup,” Buaben said.
“The Ghana manager says I need to be playing in the top flight. I don’t mean any disrespect to League One in England but this is the Scottish Premiership. I want to go to the World Cup. I know the manager likes me and always phones my agent to see how I’m progressing.”
Buaben added to the Daily Record: “I spoke to Michael Essien and he told me to keep focused – even though we play in the same position, he always encourages me.”