CRAIG Bryson believes he can reach the Premier League with Derby County having turned down the chance to play in the top flight with Burnley.
Bryson was a target of newly promoted Burnley but the Scottish midfielder has signed a five-year deal to stay with the Rams.
Now the Scot has his sights set on winning promotion after Derby went so close last season.
Defeat in the Championship play-off final against Queen’s Park Rangers was heartbreaking but Bryson is confident the club can challenge again.
“I would not have signed the contract if I didn’t think we could reach the Premier League,” said Bryson.
“We came so close last season. It is hard to say it was a good experience the way everything happened, but as a group of players we will learn from what happened and it will make us stronger.
“Everybody’s dream is to play in the Premier League and I’ve turned down a chance to play there to be a part of what is happening at Derby.”
Bryson’s new deal runs to 2019.
He would be delighted to finish his career at Derby, he says, and he has thanked the fans for being “outstanding” with him since he arrived from Kilmarnock three years ago.
“To leave Derby County would have been so hard for me,” said the 27-year-old, who has been player of the year in two of his three seasons.
“I have had a good bond with the Derby fans. From day one they have been outstanding with me.
“If I was to end my career at Derby I would be delighted.
“To get such a long contract at such a big club is unbelievable.
“They have shown a lot of faith in me and I’m delighted to commit my future to the club.”
Bryson did speak to Burnley and says the last few weeks have been tough.
“They have not been the best, to be honest,” he said.
“There was all the specualtion in the papers and people like to make up stories. It seems to be a case of pick a name, pick a club with some stories!
“I did speak to Burnley. When a club makes an offer for you and your club gives you permission to go and speak to them, I think you owe the bidding club the respect to go and speak to them.
“But when you go and speak to a club it doesn’t for a minute mean you are going to sign for them.
“You are just showing them the respect for the time and effort they have put in in making an offer for you.”