CHRIS McCann admits he would be happy to stay at his footballing home from home beyond this summer.
The 25-year-old has been with Burnley since he was 16, but is out of contract at the end of the season.
Talks began over a new deal in August, before Eddie Howe’s return to Bournemouth, but they have resumed, and the Dublin-born midfielder hopes to avoid the uncertainty and speculation of two years ago, when he faced a similar situation after making a return from 18 months of injury hell.
McCann said: “I’ve been happy here all my career.
“People have speculated before about what I’m going to do.
“I’m a Burnley player and I’m happy to wear that shirt every week, keep playing football and playing with a smile on my face again.”
Asked about a new contract, he added: “My agent’s handling that. I think he’s in negotiations with the club.
“That’s out of my hands, I let them deal with all that stuff.
“I had a year of that when I was coming back from injury and I don’t want to do that again, so I leave that to the people who know what they’re doing.”
Along with McCann, Lee Grant, Dean Marney, Ross Wallace, Martin Paterson, Michael Duff, Kevin Long, Brian Jensen and Jon Stewart are also out of contract, and he hopes the club can keep the nucleus of the squad together: “I think it’s important to keep everyone together if we’re going to have a crack at the play-offs.
“There’s no point in getting this far and starting to lose some players that are key to the team.
“There are a lot of players who are out of contract who play every week.
“It would be a blow to lose somebody.
“It’s vital to keep them if we’re going to have a push for the play-offs.”
McCann, like all Burnley fans, would like the last couple of days of the transfer window to pass off peacefully in terms of outgoing deals, with Charlie Austin in particular attracting speculation, and he said: “It’s been pretty quiet about the club, everyone goes about their day to day business.
“From what I’ve seen of the transfer window so far I don’t think there’s too much business to be done.
“Everyone comes in every day and works as hard as possible because we have a job to do and our focus is on the job here – we don’t pay too much attention to what goes on around us.
“That’s for the board to decide.”
Manager Sean Dyche gave a firm “no” when asked whether he thought there may be any outgoings before Thursday night, but is hopeful of adding a fresh face or two: “Possibly.
We’ve not got money to throw around but if the right player comes available at the right time at the right cost base, we have to have quite a detailed approach to who we can bring in.”
While he hopes to still have Austin to call on after the window closes, he also aims to have the 23-goal hitman fit for Saturday’s trip to Peterborough after five games out with a hamstring problem: “It was a close one on Saturday but with a month out for a hamstring you have to make sure.
“The weather hasn’t helped with the training schedule this week.
“We’ve had to go on Astroturf and change surfaces so it’s not ideal for muscular injuries.
“It was a common sense decision really.”
l BURNLEY are to appeal against Dean Marney’s sending off against Birmingham City.
Marney was shown a straight red card by referee Darren Drysdale for a tackle on City defender Paul Robinson an hour into Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Turf Moor.
Manager Sean Dyche was unhappy with the decision at the time as he queried the referee’s interpretation of excessive force in the challenge, in which Marney appeared to slide in one-footed and win the ball at ground level.
And he confirmed yesterday that the Clarets are to appeal to the FA’s disciplinary department in a bid to overturn the decision and spare Marney a ban.
“We will be appealing. We felt it was the wrong decision at the time and since then we have looked at the incident again in the cold light of day to confirm our belief,” said Dyche.
“We’ve also sought a few opinions from other people that confirm our thoughts, so we will put our faith in the appeals process in the belief we can get the right outcome and have the red card rescinded.”