TITUS Bramble is eager to earn a new contract at the Stadium of Light as the clock ticks down on his present deal.
Bramble is in the final year of his Sunderland contract, with the Black Cats yet to enter any discussions with the 31-year-old over extending it.
The former Newcastle defender wants to remain on Wearside, but knows his future at the club depends on his ability to take his first-team chances.
Bramble said: “If I’m playing games, I don’t see why I won’t get offered a new contract.
“Of course I want to stay. I’m very happy up here, and I would like to stay.
“This season, I can just get my head down and focus on football, nothing else, which is the main thing.
“The challenge for me is to play as many games as possible because we’ve got four or five centre-halves, and four of them are over 30.
“I don’t think any of us will play a full season – that’s just nature.
“For me, it is just a case of keeping my form together and hopefully getting a run of games.”
Bramble made his first Premier League appearance of the season as a half-time replacement for Carlos Cuellar in last Saturday’s draw with Liverpool.
And with Cuellar struggling with a hamstring injury, Bramble is in contention to start alongside John O’Shea at West Ham this weekend.
“Fingers crossed, I’ll be part of it on Saturday,” he added. “I will just work hard all this week and see what happens at the weekend.”