Joe Mattock is a man on a mission.
The likeable left-back has set his sights on regaining a place in Sheffield Wednesday’s starting line-up and helping Stuart Gray’s side challenge for promotion.
But the 24-year-old, who moved to Hillsborough in 2012, is also hoping to earn a new deal. He is among 14 players out-of-contract in the summer.
He told The Star: “It would be the best thing in the world to get a new contract.
“It is not nice knowing in the back of your head that you are going to be out of contract at the end of the season.
“But it gives me a kick and reminds me that I have to work even harder to make sure that I get offered something.”
When asked if he has held contract discussions with the club, Mattock replied: “No not yet. My main focus is to get as many games as I possibly can under my belt between now and the end of the year. We will talk about that (contract) at the end of the season. First things first, I want to help the team finish as high up in the table as we can.”
It has been a frustrating couple of months for Mattock. He sustained an ankle injury against Charlton at the start of November, a problem which sidelined him for five weeks.
The Leicester-born player returned to action ahead of schedule at Blackburn Rovers but he suffered a fresh injury setback before the end of 2014, picking up a thigh knock versus Wigan Athletic. That ruled Mattock out of the mouth-watering FA Cup trip to Premier League big boys Manchester City.
Although Mattock made a speedy recovery from his thigh niggle, head coach Gray has resisted the temptation to recall him, preferring Claude Dielna in the full back position.
Mattock, an unused substitute in Wednesday’s last two outings, said: “It has been hard with the injuries.
“As a footballer, you don’t want to be in the stands watching the game. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed watching the team do well but, at the same time, my job is to play for Sheffield Wednesday. I want to be out there contributing and doing my best for the side.
“Hopefully I can stay out of the treatment room now and I will get a chance to get back in the team in the near future.”