Morgan Feeney is grateful for Carlisle United’s backing with a new contract – saying he would hate to have left without making his mark.

The Blues have shown faith in the defender with a one-year deal for the 2021/22 season.

It comes after a first half-season in Cumbria where January signing Feeney was ruled out of action with a broken foot.

Carlisle believe the ex-Sunderland and Everton man has the potential to be a key player for them.

And Feeney said of the deal: “I was delighted.

“The manager and David [Holdsworth, director of football] have been brilliant with me in that sense.

“They could have let me walk out the door but they believed in me.

“I’m grateful also because I didn’t want to leave having not left my mark on the club.

“Next season hopefully I can really show what I’m about and stamp my authority on the pitch.”

Feeney says he is “like a coiled spring” as he waits for the chance to make first-team impact for the Blues.

He made one reserve outing last season after his return from injury.

And while the 22-year-old is already training hard in order to be in top shape for pre-season, Feeney said he always tried not to worry about whether his United stay would be short-lived.

His injury came just days after he signed a short-term deal in January. “It goes through your head but I’m the type that doesn’t really tend to dwell on things,” he said.

“I only do what I can do in that situation [when out injured] and that’s try and get fit and strong and into the best place I can.

“I’m injured, my deal’s running out – in that situation all I can do is get fit, strong and get back on the pitch. That’s what I tried to do. A new deal came which I’m very grateful for.”

Feeney says he feels at home at United and believes the team can progress next term.

“I’ve loved my time here. The lads, the staff, the environment’s brilliant,” he said.

“It’s a proper football club. I haven’t been able to play much but I’ve watched nearly every game from when I arrived. We’ve got a very good group.

“We had a bit of a tough period with the Covid and a couple of the lads struggling with Covid. It was a tough run-in but next season I think we’ve got a really good squad and foundations to kick on and do well in the league.”

On his own aims for 2021/22, the former England youth player said: “I set a long-term target for the season for myself and in the meantime you give yourself shorter goals.

“I think next season it’s just to play as many games as possible, make sure I’m physically alright and staying on top of things, get a run in the side, hopefully, and show what I’m about and what I can bring to the team.

“I’m a bit like a coiled spring at the minute – I’m just desperate to play, desperate to get out there, and kickstart my career in the professional game. That’s what I’m here to do.”

With United having announced some of their pre-season friendlies, Feeney is looking forward to getting the blue shirt on in July.

“Pre-season’s brilliant for that – you do your tough running and work, then the games come thick and fast and the friendlies really prepare you for the tough fixtures in a season,” he said.

“I look at the friendlies and hope to play in every one of them! But you don’t know, there might be a lot of rotation. But any opportunity I get to play I’ll hope to do well and prove what I’m about.”