Sam Mantom today expressed his hope of earning an extended contract at Walsall.
The Saddlers have already given longer deals to James Baxendale and Paul Downing, while boss Dean Smith signed a year-long extension last week and is set to be followed by assistant boss Richard O’Kelly.
Smith is keen to tie down several more players and midfielder Mantom, whose current deal expires at the end of the season, hopes to be among them.
“I’m not going to lie, I have thought about it. I don’t think there is anyone in this position who wouldn’t,” he said.
“It’s great to see them (Smith and O’Kelly) get extensions because it means they will be part of the club for the next two to three years, which is great.
“Hopefully I can be part of that too because it’s a pleasure to come here and train every day, working with the gaffer and the people involved in the club.”
Mantom has made 29 appearances for the Saddlers since signing on a permanent deal from West Bromwich Albion in January, having spent two previous spells at the Banks’s on loan.
He came within inches of notching his second goal of the season in the 1-1 draw at Colchester on Saturday with a 25 yard shot which struck the outside of the post.
The 21-year-old admits he is relishing the extra freedom afforded to him since Smith opted last month to change shape and play Mantom in a central midfield three along with Adam Chambers Nicky Featherstone.
“That is my best position I think,” he said. “Joining in the attack and creating things, trying to thread through balls for the strikers.
“But I like to think I can play anywhere. Against Bradford in the last 20 minutes I had to sit deeper and I passed it more than I have all season.
“It was the same against Colchester, I sat back when Romaine Sawyers came on with 20 minutes to go. I’m enjoying going forward but whatever the gaffer wants from me, I’ll do.”
“I thought we were very good at Colchester. The goal we conceded was a bit loose but we dominated from the first minute to the last. It shows we are on the right track.”
Milan Lalkovic is on his way back to Walsall today after featuring in Slovakia under-21s 3-0 win over Luxembourg under-21s last night.