AUDIO: Zak Whitbread eager to stay with Norwich City
Zak Whitbread does not want his Norwich City career to end in the summer – but admitted his future is in the club's hands.
The in-form Canaries centre-back, who produced another faultless display despite City's 1-0 defeat at Stoke on Saturday, is out of contract at the end of the current season.
The 28-year-old wishes he had more than 44 appearances to his name during an injury-hit spell at Carrow Road since arriving from Millwall at the start of 2010.
Yet ask most Norwich fans and they would be happy for Whitbread to continue impressing in a yellow shirt beyond this season.
'Oh yes, without a doubt,' said Whitbread, when asked if he wants to stay at Norwich. 'It's a great club and I've enjoyed it. I've 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.
'But I'm just enjoying playing the games and if anything comes of it then that will be great.
'There have been no talks and I'm not really worried about it. I'm not focusing on it too much. I'm just back from injury and I've just got to concentrate on playing and it's not for me to worry about. That's for other people to talk about.'
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Last week Norwich veteran left-back Adam Drury also acknowledged he was unsure where he would be playing his football beyond the summer.
In fact, the Canaries have 12 players expected to be out of contract at the end of this season, according to the deals revealed when they signed.
Of the dozen Simeon Jackson, Korey Smith and George Francomb have publicised options for City to sign the player for another year.
It is understood Whitbread does not have an option written into his deal, but the situation is unclear regarding the remaining eight – the details of which the Canaries have preferred to keep to themselves. Across the board, Whitbread believes players at all clubs are starting to find stability beyond the next 12 months difficult to find.
'It's the club's decision in my eyes and I've got to respect that; I have got to just keep playing,' said Whitbread. 'As a player, obviously you want to know you have got a future or a bit of stability, but football has changed. 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, and as I said I'm not too worried about it.
'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'm 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.'
Norwich City's contract position (as reported)
Until this summer: Zak Whitbread, (future options unconfirmed) Adam Drury, Declan Rudd, David Fox, Aaron Wilbraham, Elliott Ward, Tom Adeyemi, Josh Dawkin, Matt Ball, Kyle Naughton (loan expires).
With confirmed one-year options: Simeon Jackson, Korey Smith, George Francomb.
Summer 2013: John Ruddy, Andrew Crofts, Andrew Surman, Chris Martin, Simon Lappin, Marc Tierney, Jed Steer.
Summer 2014 and beyond: Russell Martin, Bradley Johnson, Steve Morison, James Vaughan, Grant Holt, Anthony Pilkington (with confirmed one year option), Wes Hoolahan, Elliott Bennett, Leon Barnett, Daniel Ayala, Jonny Howson, Ryan Bennett.