Burnley defender Erik Pieters doesn't want to play second fiddle!
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The former Holland international, who was recently joined at Turf Moor by compatriot Wout Weghorst, isn’t keen on the idea of seeing his career peter out from pitch-side.
Pieters, 33, has made just three starts in the Premier League this term, when deputising for the injured Charlie Taylor, who sustained an injury to his foot in a training game prior to last month’s clash with Arsenal at the Emirates.
He was also given the nod against leaders Manchester City at the Etihad, and played in the goal-less draw at home to Watford at the weekend. Now he’s in line to take on Manchester United in midweek.
"I'm playing now because Charlie Taylor is injured,” said the defender. “I'm happy to play now, of course. I think this is my third or fourth start this season. I pick my games thou gh; Manchester City, Arsenal and now Manchester United.
"I always want to play, I still believe I'm a good player for the team and I've still got something to offer to the team. I won't be happy sitting on the bench.
"I just want to play games, everybody knows that. I'm not going to lie about it, I don't want to be sitting on the bench because I know I can be a good asset for the team. I'm happy to be back playing again and helping the team.”
Pieters backed up his beliefs when marking each of his last two starts with a clean sheet. The ex-PSV Eindhoven full back was also named in the side that shut Newcastle United out in the Carabao Cup tie at St James’s Park in August.
Pieters, who also contributed to clean sheets against West Brom, Sheffield United and Crystal Palace last season, and defended for his life when replacing Taylor in a 1-0 win over champions Liverpool at Anfield, added: "As a defender the main thing is always the clean sheet, we've got two of those from the last two games so that's a good thing. I'm happy that I'm playing again and showing what I've got. I just can't wait to get out again and continue this form and get another result on the board."