Krystian Pearce still hopes to agree a new contract at Notts County despite just missing out on automatically earning a new deal.
A clause in the defender's current one-year deal stipulated he would be given a long-term contract 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 is celebrating his 21st birthday today (Wednesday), has been assured by manager Paul Ince he still has a future at Meadow Lane although formal talks are yet to begin.
"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.
Liam Chilvers' knee ligament injury opened the door for Pearce to return last month and the former Birmingham trainee has been in fine form in the last five games, scoring twice and helping Notts keep three clean sheets.
"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.
Notts 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."