Belfast Telegraph

Whitbread keen to stay with Norwich

Zak Whitbread would love to extend his stay at Norwich beyond the season, as the American centre-back aims to keep the Canaries in the Barclays Premier League.

Following some 14 appearances in the top flight as Norwich defied the pre-season predictions to sit comfortably in mid-table, Whitbread hopes to be given the chance to extend his injury-hit stay in Norfolk when his current deal expires in the summer.

"I have just been a bit disappointed I couldn't play a few more games than what I have, but it's a great club, a great set-up, going in the right direction," Whitbread said. "I am just enjoying playing the games and if anything comes of it then that will be great. There have been no talks and I am not really worried about it."

Whitbread, who was brought up in Runcorn, represented the United States Under-20s team at the 2003 World Youth Championship, but despite one call-up to the senior squad for the friendlies against Argentina and Paraguay in March 2011, which he had to withdraw through injury, the centre-back has not yet been included for further international consideration.

For now, though, Whitbread's focus is solely on helping the Canaries - who have 35 points and are 13 clear of the relegation zone with just 11 games to play - retain their Premier League status and bounce back from successive defeats to Manchester United and Stoke when Wigan come to Carrow Road on Sunday.

"As a player, obviously you want to know you have got a future or a bit of stability, but football has changed," Whitbread told reporters.

"You have got to get used to not having four or five-year contracts, and that at the end of the year anything could happen.

"You have got to take it game by game.

"It's been stop-start over my time at Norwich, so for me I have just got to enjoy each game as it comes and make the most of the chances I get.

"I am desperate to stay in this league and I have got to work really hard with the rest of the lads to try and achieve that."

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