Bardsley wants a new deal
PHIL Bardsley is hoping a lengthy run in the Sunderland team will earn him a new contract at the Stadium of Light. Bardsley, who earned a surprise call up to the Scotland squad at the start of the week, is due to become a free agent next summer. He barely figured in the second half of last season, starting just two of the final 16 games, but has impressed since making his first start of the current campaign in last month's draw with Liverpool. His future remains uncertain, with talks over a new deal yet to take place. But with Steve Bruce having praised his qualities in the wake of last weekend's draw with Manchester United, Bardsley is keen to extend his stay on Wearside. I'd like to be offered a new contract, he said. I heard the manager has said he is worried I won't sign one because I'm not guaranteed a place in the side, but I'm a Sunderland player and my only aim is to keep playing like I am at the moment and we shall see what happens. I do enjoy living up here. I'm really settled. I'm enjoying it, but we'll have to see whether anything is offered and we'll take it from there. Despite spending the vast majority of his career on the right-hand side of the back four, Bardsley has found himself lining up at left-back in Sunderland's last two games. He was arguably the Black Cats' best player last weekend, marking the in-form Nani out of the game, and is satisfied with the form that has earned him a maiden call up to Scotland's senior squad. I've come in and done fairly well, he said. I've not started the season, but I've been working hard and I wouldn't expect anything less from myself. When the chance has come, I've to perform and I feel as though I've done enough to keep my place. I don't mind playing at left-back at all. A fussy man is a lonely man as far as I'm concerned and I'll do whatever I'm asked to do for the good of the team."
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