Midfielder Dale Stephens claims he learned of Burnley release via twitter

Midfielder Dale Stephens claims he learned of his release from Burnley via twitter.

The 33-year-old left Turf Moor at the end of his contract, having made only four appearances last season, and 14 in total since a £1m move from Brighton in September 2020 – the only outfield player the Clarets signed that window.

And while he didn’t expect to stay at the club, he was disappointed by the way his exit was handled by the club.

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He said on talkSPORT’s Sunday Session: “The writing was on the wall in the period I had there.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 05: Dale Stephens of Burnley battles for possession with Juraj Kucka of Watford FC during the Premier League match between Burnley and Watford at Turf Moor on February 05, 2022 in Burnley, England. (Photo by James Gill/Getty Images)

“It was disappointing on both sides, I didn’t really see it panning out the way that it did because when I initially went there I was excited for the challenge, but for whatever reason it didn’t work for me or the football club.

“I sort of knew that I wouldn’t be there next year.

“It probably sums my time up there, but I found out on twitter, of all places, that I wouldn’t be getting a new contract.

“It was bizarre really. I knew anyway before my contract expired, but it’s when they release it to the press and stuff and I just see it on my twitter feed that I’ve been released.

“There’s just not much dialogue in terms of offering contracts etc, but it’s a clean break which isn’t always a bad way to go about it.

“At least you know where you stand in the long term.”

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In April, Stephens was banned from driving for 12 months and fined over £3,000 after being caught drink driving.

The Bolton-born midfielder trained with former club Brighton last week, but is unsure over where his future lies: “The last week or two have been okay, but in two or three weeks or so if it’s still quite quiet…

“A few lads are in the same position, but the closer it gets to the start of the season which is at the end of the month in the Championship, it is going to play on your mind a little bit more.

“At the moment I’m in a good enough position where I’m lucky to go down to Brighton and train and I’m due to do that this week until Friday.

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“I know I’m doing as much as I can in the meantime, but I can imagine that in a couple of weeks’ time it’ll be a little bit edgy.”

After two seasons where he struggled to break into the Burnley side,even with a dearth of midfielders at the club, he wants to bring his career to a close playing games, rather than sitting on the sidelines.

He said: “It’s about trying to find the right fit really.

“I’ve had a difficult couple of years the last two years with not playing many minutes, so the main focus is around trying to get as many games as possible over the next couple of years.

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“I’d like to finish playing, rather than going out not playing enough minutes in the latter stages of my career.”