Nicky Shorey admits speculation surrounding his Reading future affected his form earlier in the season.
The full-back had been linked with a move to West Ham United after stalling on a decision regarding a new contract at the Madejski Stadium.
His current deal expires in the summer of 2009 and Shorey concedes the constant discussion about an extension impacted on his performances.
But, with the issue put on hold until the end of the season, the defender is fully focused on helping to secure the Royals' Premier League status.
"It probably affected me through the early stages of the season until we come to the decision to put it on hold until the summer," Shorey told Sky Sports News.
"Ever since I've done that I've had an upturn in my performances.
"I think that's helped me to put it to one side. It has helped me personally and the team as well, so it's good."
With Shorey now rediscovering his best form, he outlined his determination to force his way back into the England squad.
He made his international debut against Brazil last June, but has yet to be involved under Fabio Capello as he looks to prove his worth to the Italian.
Shorey added: "All I can do is concentrate on playing my game and hope I get my chance.
"It would be nice to get the opportunity to try and show what I can do. If it doesn't come, it doesn't come, but I'm working hard to make sure it does."