Bardsley eyes Black Cats stay

Full-back hopes he is part of Bruce's plans

Bardsley: Keen to stay

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Full-back Phil Bardsley hopes he has done enough in Sunderland's pre-season to be part of their future.

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It had been thought the former Manchester United defender could leave the Stadium of Light this summer as manager Steve Bruce reshapes his squad.

However, Bardsley has impressed so far in pre-season and Bruce is reportedly having a re-think over the 25-year-old's future, much to his delight.

Bardsley is not sidetracking himself whether he is coming or going and is just focused on playing well in a bid to be part of their future.

Unfazed

"I feel in decent shape and I'm ready for the new campaign," he told the Chronicle Live. "I feel good, and fitter than I've ever felt.

"I haven't spoken to the manager, I'm just concentrating on myself. It's a funny old game, so who knows what's around the corner.

"I'm not bothered about speculation, I'm not too concerned about what other people think. I just look after myself and get on with my own business. I'm in the frame of mind to continue here.

"Of course I want to stay. If you look at the successful teams in the Premier League, they have players who they have for a number of years and they build round them.

"Hopefully I can stay in the manager's plans, and if I can I'll be delighted. If I have to move on I'll do what's best for myself and go and play some football.

"I hope I'm still here at the start of the season, but it's the manager's decision. If he wants me I'll be here, but if not then it'll be time for me to move on - we'll have to see."

Reserve duty

Meanwhile, want-away goalkeeper Marton Fulop will spend the next few days on reserve team duty despite Craig Gordon's broken arm.

The 27-year-old Hungary international was among a 17-man party which headed for Scotland on Monday morning as the senior squad set off for Portugal.

Fulop has made no secret of his desire to leave the Stadium of Light in the search for regular first-team football, although his position looked to be unclear when it was revealed that Gordon has suffered a recurrence of a lower arm fracture in training.

There has been speculation that England veteran David James could be a target for manager Steve Bruce as he decides whether to entrust Trevor Carson and recent arrival Simon Mignolet with the goalkeeping duties for the start of the Premier League season.