THE Newcastle Jets are fighting hard to hang on to Nathan Burns.
Burns’ loan term with the A-League club finishes next year and his management has begun negotiations for the Orange-born striker to stay in the Hunter.
Burns is on loan from Korean club Incheon United, and is scheduled to return on January 11, 2014.
The 25-year-old has been one of Newcastle’s most consistent players this year, and potted a brace in last weekend’s 2-1 victory over Melbourne Victory.
The pair of goals were Burns’ first in the A-League this season, and the win has helped the Jets creep into third place.
Despite his recent success, Burns said he isn’t looking too far ahead in terms of contracts.
“Newcastle have been wanting me to extend for a couple of months now,” he explained.
“Obviously I’m still contracted by Incheon and at the end of the day what happens is up to them.
“It’s going great for me at the moment, and I can look after my body really well here, but in football it’s hard to look past right now.”
Burns said after scoring Sunday’s double, it was good to get the monkey off his back.
“I’d had a few chances leading up to Sunday, so it was good to get the brace,” he said.
“It was funny, I heard the commentator had said they were my first A-League goals in six years, but I haven’t played here in that long.”
Burns said with the calibre of players in the Jets’ squad, he isn’t surprised his team in third, just six points off the pace.
“We’ve got a lot of potential at Newcastle,” he said.
“It’s still early days obviously, but I expected us to be doing well.”
Amid speculation Australia will struggle to score a goal, let alone win a game, at the World Cup after a disastrous draw which pooled the Socceroos with Spain, Chile and the Netherlands, Burns said he expects his former teammates to do well.
“You are never going to get an easy game in a World Cup,” he said.
“You want to go there and play teams like Brazil and Spain, so why not do it in the group stages.”
Burns has represented Australia seven times, and conceded his long term goal is to regain a green and gold jersey.
“Of course that is the ultimate goal,” he said.
“But to make that squad, you have to be in form, scoring goals and doing well. So I’ll just keep concentrating on club football.”