PHIL Bardsley is hoping his standout display in the Carabao Cup exit to Leeds can give Sean Dyche a selection headache as he looks to force his way into the team.

The 32-year-old was named man of the match at Turf Moor for his energetic display from right-back and after the game he insisted he hadn’t signed a two-year deal with the Clarets to sit on the bench.

Matt Lowton has been Dyche’s first choice right-back in the Premier League this season, but former Manchester United man Bardsley is now breathing down his neck in the battle for selection.

“That’s what we’re here for; we’re here to play football. I didn’t sign to sit on the bench for two years. I’ll be looking to carry on and hopefully get into the team,” said Bardsley.

“I’m here to play football, you do your best and the manager has got a decision to make on picking the team, that’s why he’s the manager, it’s never easy, but if we’ve got players pushing each other week in week out then it will get the best out of each other and the team.”

Bardsley, a £750,000 addition from Stoke City in the summer, was making his first competitive Burnley appearance at Turf Moor since April 8, 2006, when he faced QPR as a Clarets loanee.

The intervening years have done nothing to diminish Bardsley’s enthusiasm for the game and he remains as determined as ever to start games.

“It’s nice to play football, I love playing football and I always have, and I’ll continue to enjoy it as long as I can keep running. I’ll keep working hard and hopefully get more chances,” he added.

“I’m at my best every day, that’s what I’ve always done and that’s why I’ve had a successful career because I push my body to the limit and get the best out of myself every day, whether that’s training or games, and I’ll continue to do that.”

Of his battle for a place against Lowton, Bardsley added: “He’s a good lad, we’ve got a great group of players here and we’re all fighting to play, it’s not personal between me and Lowts, we’re both trying to play football on a regular basis and that’s the be all and end all of it.

“We’ve got a good dressing room, everyone is working hard for each other to try and get the best out of each other, we’ll continue to do that and hopefully that can bring success to the club.”

Despite Burnley’s early cup exit the Clarets are flying high in the Premier League, sitting seventh ahead of the visit of Huddersfield Town to Turf Moor this weekend, and while Bardsley admits to frustration at not playing he is delighted to see the start the club have made.

“You’re waiting for your chance, watching the lads putting some really good performances in,” the Salford-born full-back said.

“It’s great to see, as frustrating as it can be when you’re not playing, but I’m a team player and I want the team to do well, we want to remain in the Premier League, that’s our incentive, and if we keep performing the way we are then we’re heading in the right direction.”