Friday, March 11, 2011

Clifford hopeful of extending County loan spell

Ireland U-21 international Conor Clifford is keen to extend his loan spell at Notts County from champions Chelsea until the end of the season.

The 19-year-old Dubliner moved to Meadow Lane on a one-month loan in early February but is eager to remain.

Magpies boss Paul Ince has been impressed with the former Crumlin United players performances and will discuss keeping him for the rest of the campaign with the club's chief executive.

"I'd love to stay with Notts until the end of the season," said Clifford. "I'm really enjoying playing in meaningful games rather than in the reserves at Chelsea, and I want to keep playing to gain as much experience as I can."

Clifford captained last season's Chelsea FA Youth Cup winning team, scoring the winner in the Final against Aston Villa with a long-range strike.

He began the season on loan at Plymouth, has started three league games for Notts, against Colchester United, Brentford and Leyton Orient, and has made two substitute appearances, against Exeter City and Charlton.

"I've been delighted to play almost every game since I've came here. I think I've done all right but I know I can give an awful lot more if I stay for the rest of the season," he added.

"I'm still getting to know the lads and the way we play and I haven't really played where I normally play, in the centre of midfield. I've been playing out wide. It's a bit frustrating but it's all good experience for me wherever I play.

"Hopefully I can sign on again, play more games and get better."

Ince has four central midfielders with more experience than Clifford in his squad – Neal Bishop, Ricky Ravenhill, John Spicer and Kevin McDonald, on loan from Burnley.

"We've got enough in that central midfield department, but I think Conor has done ever so well since he's been here.

"He plays with a lot of energy. I will sit down with Jim (Rodwell) and see where we stand," he said.