Jack Cork is in no hurry to decide on his future as he targets a regular place in the Burnley side.
The midfielder has been a fixture in the Clarets’ team in recent years but ankle surgery last summer put him out for an extended spell and this season he has only played in three of Burnley’s eight Premier League games.
Cork is one of a host of Burnley players out of contract next summer, but the 32-year-old said: “It’s still early in the season. I’ve got an option to extend and it just depends how that goes.
“I love it at Burnley. My family are really settled here. I’ve always loved it here and we’ll just see how many games I play and how the situation is. It’s nothing to be spoken about at the minute.”
Ashley Westwood and Josh Brownhill have established themselves as the Clarets’ first-choice central midfielders, although Cork joined them in a trio for last weekend’s 2-0 defeat by Manchester City.
He will not be kicking up a fuss if he is back on the bench against his former club Southampton on Saturday, saying: “It’s just part of football. You can’t go through your whole career expecting to play every match.
“I had quite a big ankle operation last year and the lads who have played when I haven’t played have done brilliantly so you can’t complain when you’re not playing.
“All you can do is get behind the team and, when you’re playing, make sure you’re ready, like I have been my whole career, and step in and try and be consistent.”
Sean Dyche has a deeper squad at his disposal than in previous seasons, which presents a challenge in terms of man management.
“I think we’re very open with the players and ask them for their thoughts, try not to let things fester,” he said.
“I wouldn’t remotely suggest that Jack or any other player who’s not playing is happy but there’s a professional side of what they do. We explain that to them and how important it is that all noses are pointing in the same direction, particularly around game time.
“Any problems they come and see me after the weekend, we’ve always had a deal with that. It is good that there are challenges around these players. You hope to buy players that will add to what you do immediately but it’s also about that competitive element.”
Burnley are still looking for their first Premier League victory this season but there have been encouraging recent signs, and Cork added: “We’re in a good place. We’re creating chances. We’ll hopefully have a game soon where everything we touch goes in but at the minute it’s just not going like that.
“We went to Man City on Saturday and we created a lot of chances. Sometimes we go there and we barely have a shot on target.
“We’re eight games into the season. There’s been many, many teams in this league that have had starts like this, and even us last year.
“You can go all the way to Christmas and not be in a great position but you just have to have the experience that we have and the trust in the players and the staff to know that we can get out of it.”
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