BILLY Clifford has made quite an impression at Colchester United, since his loan switch from Chelsea.

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The 20-year-old midfielder’s current loan deal is set to expire after the trip to Sheffield United on February 16, but it looks odds-on that he will be extending his stay, hopefully to the end of the season.

Clifford himself has expressed his own intentions to remain with the U’s, and help to propel them away from the League One relegation scrap over the coming weeks.

U’s boss Joe Dunne confirmed his desire to keep hold of Clifford for a longer spell, during his press conference ahead of this afternoon’s home game against Preston, and Clifford revealed his wishes to the East Anglian Daily Times before Thursday’s training session.

“I’d like to stay longer. I’ve spoken to the gaffer (Dunne) and I’ve had contact with people at Chelsea,” explained Clifford.

“I believe my loan ends after the Sheffield United game, but I’ll be looking to extend it, and get more games.

“I think Chelsea will definitely be prepared to let me stay here longer.

“There’s been someone from Chelsea at every game, and they are pleased with the way that Colchester play, and with the way that I am getting on.

“Ideally, I’d like to stay here for the rest of the season,” added Clifford.

A product of Chelsea’s Academy, Clifford has yet to make a first-team appearance for the Premier League outfit, although he signed a new four-year deal in September, 2011.

He made his League debut in the U’s 2-1 home defeat by Scunthorpe, and has gone on to start the U‘s last four games,

“I’m enjoying it at Colchester,” continued Clifford.

“Chelsea is a great club, but there are so many great players at the club that it’s difficult to break through.

“I needed to get out and try something different, and this is a good opportunity.”

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