STEPHEN THOMAS has admitted he deserved the close season kick up the backside that has reignited his Wrexham career.
The 24-year-old midfielder was placed on the transfer list by Denis Smith last summer after the Dragons boss thought he had become stale and in need of a new challenge.
But Thomas, now enjoying a run in the team, had other ideas and is now looking to prolong his long association with the club.
He confessed: "I'd been at Wrexham so long that maybe I was becoming complacent.
"Being put on the list made me go away and think about things.
"I looked long and hard at my football and redoubled my efforts."
Thomas returned to pre-season training with renewed vigour.
After being largely a peripheral figure last season, he has started 16 games this term and his attitude has been praised by the Wrexham management.
And the former Wales under-21 international knows that a prolonged run in the Nationwide Division Two team as it pushes for a second successive promotion can ensure he remains at his one and only club.
"I don't really dwell about being on the list. It's not something that plays on my mind," he said.
"With the club's financial position as it is, everyone is on the transfer list.
"If we receive a decent offer, they will go. For me, well I can understand why it was done."
But Thomas insisted: "My contract's up at the end of the season and I want to stay.
"I'll have taken part in close to 30 games by the end of the season and hopefully that will strengthen my hand.
"I've been at this club for so long that I'm very attached to it. Being on the list was the kick up the backside I needed."
Relecting on the Dragons' season, Thomas added: "It's going really well, despite everything about the club's financial position.
"We've got a small squad but we've still done better than we can imagine and that's down to the lads. Many fans were thinking that perhaps we could go back down.
"This season was first and foremost about staying up - but none of the lads thought about going down.
"Yes the squad's small, but it's adaptable and that's down to Denis Smith. He's made the most of what he's got.
"With me, he's converted me to a wing-back, although I still feel midfield is my natural position."
Thomas has been the most forward thinking of Wrexham's middle three of late and he scored a cracking long-range effort against Swindon.
"I know I need to score more goals," said Thomas. "I was talking to (assistant manager) Kevin Russell about this today and he's going to give me more shooting practice.
"The thing is most of my goals come from outside the area - I need to start hitting a few more from within the box."
And Thomas knows that any goals will be important if Wrexham are to sustain their bid to make the play-offs.
"We haven't given up hope of the play-offs," he said.
"We're still very close and we all believe we can do it. We'll be fighting all the way and the last few games will be very interesting."