Krystian Pearce is hoping to agree a new contract at Notts County having just missed out on earning one automatically.
The young defender had a clause in his contract that stipulated that he would be given a new deal if he started 15 league games before the end of 2010.
He fell just short with 12 starts and has started against both Walsall and Hartlepool since the turn of the year.
Pearce, who has just celebrated his 21st birthday, has been assured by Manager Paul Ince that he is part of his plans although formal talks on a new deal are yet to commence.
“I’m focusing on my football because if I’m doing well on the pitch then the rest will take care of itself,” Pearce told the Nottingham Post.
“I’m hopeful something will be sorted out sooner rather than later.”
Pearce started 10 of the Magpies’ first 13 league games of the season under ex-boss Craig Short but was out of favour at the start of Ince’s reign.
However, Liam Chilvers’ knee ligament injury gave Pearce the opportunity that he was looking for and since his return to the action the former Birmingham City Apprentice has been in fine form scoring twice and helping Notts keep three clean sheets in his last five appearances.
“I’m just trying to slot into the team and hold down my place,” said the ex-England Under-19 international. “Liam will be back soon and he’s a very good player, so I’m going to have to keep playing well.”
“I think I’m playing better than I was at the start of the season. My positional sense has improved, I’m starting to be a bit more dominant in the air and I’ve scored a couple of goals as well.”
“I’ve been helped by playing alongside Eddy (Mike Edwards), who is playing very well. I can learn a lot from him.”
Pearce scored the final goal in Saturday’s 3-0 win at Walsall and the Magpies repeated that scoreline at home to Hartlepool on Monday to stretch their unbeaten run to five matches.
The Magpies have now risen to 13th place in League One and are just four points off the play-offs after being in the relegation zone at the start of last month.
“Our confidence is sky-high at the moment and everyone is buzzing,” Pearce added. “We’re all enjoying our run and we are determined to keep it going.”
“I don’t think we ever stopped looking at the play-offs. Even when we were in the bottom four we always had faith in ourselves. If we can keep our form going we’ll continue to climb the table.”