CLARETS keeper Lee Grant is convinced Burnley are moving in the right direction - and he wants to be part of the club’s future.
Grant is out of contract in the summer, but is keen to secure a new deal in the belief that exciting times are around the corner at Turf Moor.
The former England Under 21 international returns “home” today to Watford - five minutes away from where he was born in Hemel Hemstead, and he is focussed on ending the season as high up the table as possible, and going into next term in a positive frame of mind.
Ahead of the first of eight remaining fixtures, he said: “The main aim is to finish strongly, attempt to finish better than we did last year - higher up the league with a better points tally to show everybody there is progression at the club, and look to take a nice, firm platform into next season.
“We don’t want the season to peter out and leave a sour taste, we want to go into next season with plenty of positives.
“I’m looking forward to next season, things are going in the right direction, and with regard to my own situation, it’s just a case of doing what I’m doing and letting the rest take care of itself, which I’m sure it will do.”
And he explained his own situation: “There’s not really too much to say, talks are ongoing and things will be sorted in the near future.
“We’re six weeks from the end of the season so it can’t drag on, and it’s a case of letting the powers that be take care of it.
“I’ve got eight games to take care of and I’m sure it will be sorted.
“As a player, you like stability, I’ve a young family and a wife, and you want these things sorting.
“I try not to worry about it or let it impact on me, it’s just a natural process and it takes as long as it takes.
“Hopefully it will be sorted in the right way.
“I’ve been here three years, my family have moved up to the area and naturally, for me it would be a simple step to stay here and try and push on.
“It almost feels like a new club as well with the new manager and staff, so there’s no sense of signing for a club and maintaining things, there’s a freshness to the club and it’s quite exciting and hopefully I’ll be part of it next season.”
There is a tightening of belts at the club, with players having to accept reduced terms, and he accepted:
“I think any player that has his head screwed on understands the business of football and where it’s at, and across the world the squeeze is on in every walk of life, so I understand.
“It doesn’t worry me too much in terms of the club, I still feel the club is going in the right direction.”
Grant was a Manchester United fan as a kid, but Watford was his local club growing up, and he is looking forward to today’s game: “It’s a nice game for me, I’m originally from Hemel Hempstead which is about five minutes away, and I’ll have lots of family members and friends attending.
“The only thing is the majority will want me to lose!
“But it will be nice to see some familiar faces.
“They’re excited about what’s going on there, but there’s a bit of trepidation - they’re not quite sure how it will end up.”
He trained with the Hornets, but admits he wanted to be a rugby player: “I spent some time training there with the youth team up to 12, 13, football in the community and that sort of stuff, but never to the stage where I was with my foot in the door.
“To be honest, I didn’t really enjoy it that much, I wanted to play rugby!
“You don’t get knocked out as often at football - I got concussed a couple of times playing rugby and decided it wasn’t for me.
“I played inside centre, all through school at Cavendish, we had a really strong side and got to national finals in sevens.
“I thought I was quite good, but it was because the outside centre and he could do 100m in 10 seconds so I just used to give him the ball!”