Matt Lowton is ready for more competition next season after his battle for Burnley's right back spot with Phil Bardsley. 

Lowton finished the season as the man in possession and overall made one more appearance, 24 to 23, than the Stoke City man in all competitions. 

But the Clarets' No.2 had an extended spell out of the side, not starting a game between the 5-1 Boxing Day defeat to Everton and the 3-1 win at Bournemouth on April 6.

Having only returned after Bardsley picked up a freak training ground injury playing head tennis, Lowton knows he will have to be up for the fight again when the new campaign comes around. 

"It’s always good to have competition, it keeps you working hard and keeps you on your toes," he said.  

"Phil’s a great player. The squad mentality we’ve got here, whoever’s playing the lads are right behind them. 

"He’s proved himself throughout the season and he’s paid us back but we’ll see next season, hopefully I can stay in the team."

It may be that there'll be even more defensive competition at Turf Moor once Sean Dyche's summer recruitment is done. 

Lowton embraces that and believes the added strength in depth is what has helped the Clarets to a fourth straight season in the top flight. 

The 29-year-old cites player of the year Ashley Westwood as an example of how every player has a chance to make their mark. 

"You have to have that competition," Lowton said. 

"Since I’ve joined the squad has got stronger and stronger. 

"The depth there now is what we need. It’s showed when lads have got injured and the other lads have come in. 

"Look at Westy, he didn’t start the season but he’s got player of the year. 

"It shows the depth we’ve got and we need that to keep pushing forwards."

Bardsley's 23 appearances were enough for him to trigger an extension in his contract that keeps him at Turf Moor until the summer of 2020, his deal having been due to expire. 

Out of contract duo Stephen Ward and Anders Lindegaard have left the club while Peter Crouch's future remains up in the air, the veteran striker not ruling out retirement.