Bardsley set for new Sunderland deal
Sunderland manager Steve Bruce is ready to reward Phil Bardsley with a new contract if he continues his recent string of fine performances. The Sunderland defender, who started his career with Manchester United, made his international debut for Scotland in the 3-2 Euro 2012 qualifying defeat to Spain in midweek. The 25-year-old is in the final year of his contract with the Wearsiders and could leave for nothing next summer with the club yet to offer him fresh terms. Bruce believes Bardsley's versatility makes him an important member of his squad and has indicated that the club will open contract negotiations soon. The Black Cats boss told the Sunday Mirror: "A few weeks ago he was knocking on my door. He wants to play. Now he's played against Man City, Man United and Spain. "That's how it changes. He's played very well and if (Kieran) Richardson is fit, it gives me a huge dilemma. It's fantastic for Bardo, I'm really pleased. "He's grabbed his chance and done very well. He's pushed us into a corner, if you're talking about contracts, and said, 'What are you going to do?' "He's got eight months left. If he keeps playing like he is at the moment, then he will get himself a new deal." Bardsley, who had a spell on loan at Rangers in 2006, was born in England but qualifies for Scotland through his father, who was born in Glasgow. And, the player admits that his call-up by manager Craig Levein has boosted his position. Bardsley said: "I want a new contract. Certainly the international call-up can't have done me any harm, but it's not up to me. "I just want to enjoy my football and keep doing well. I'm enjoying my football more than ever at the moment. "I've been asked to play left-back and I've just come in and done my best. I was determined to make the most of the chance. "For the Scotland call-up to come on the back of that... I was delighted. "To make my debut against Spain - the world champions - was an incredible experience. "I spent most of the game up against Andreas Iniesta - so an easy day at the office, eh!"
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