CLARETS boss Eddie Howe has rewarded defender David Edgar with a contract extension.
Edgar has started the last 25 games for the club, and has agreed a deal to the summer of 2014.
Howe feels the Canada international will be a key component of the side during that time – his composure on the ball vital to the way he wants to play out from the back.
Ahead of tomorrow’s tricky trip to Middlesbrough, Howe said: “We’re really pleased because we feel that David has really improved this season.
“We’d used him in various positions, but we had a chat and said ‘for your own benefit we need to nail you down a position and try to work with you in that position, so you can learn it and really get your head round where you’re going to play, and where we see you’.
“We do see David as a centre-half – a footballing centre-half – who matches really how we want to play and how we build from the back.
“I think he has really improved, his attitude has been spot on, and he has shown a real willingness to improve on the training pitch, which is always important for us.
“So we’re delighted to offer him a new contract, and hopefully this is just the start for him.”
Edgar’s versatility held him back from cementing one position.
Howe noted: “He went to right-back at Norwich and did well.
“He’s a really talented footballer. and a really talented lad.
“He can turn his hand to many positions, but we do see him as a centre-half.
“He has all the attributes we want, and is 6ft 3ins.
“I still think there are areas he can improve and get better, and that’s our challenge and his challenge now to work with him, and try to get him to reach his potential.”
Howe is Edgar’s third Burnley manager in three seasons with the club, and the first to hand him a regular start.
The boss added: “Before we came in, I think David was incredibly frustrated.
“I couldn’t really give him his opportunity because we had players who were playing well at the time, and it was difficult to really get him in the team.
“But during the summer, we made a few changes and David got his opportunity.
“From then, it was up to him to take it, and I think he’s done that – especially of late.
“Defensively I think his game’s really come on.
“He can play left or right said which shows his versatility, and we’re working on his left foot all the time trying to improve in that respect.
“But he is composed, and I think that is the key thing with how we want to play, we want to try to build from the back and try to build an exciting and a composed football team. David will be fundamental to that.”