Central Coast Mariners defender Zac Anderson says his decision to put contract talks on hold with the club was made to allow him to concentrate on his game.
The 23-year-old, who hopes to return from a lower back injury when the Mariners face Sydney FC on Saturday at Allianz, is coming out of contract at season's end.
Anderson said he had opted against signing an extension to his deal late last year.
"The Mariners approached me probably in September last year about a two-year extension and I just wanted to put things on hold for the time being, just wanted to re-evaluate things, take a step back and concentrate on my football," the centre-back told www.a-league.com.au
"At the moment, I'm letting my management with Vinnie Grella look after that side of things.
"We'll re-assess come the back end of this season."
Anderson's return is set to provide a boost to the Mariners, who, despite having won just three games this season, are only six points adrift of sixth place.
Phil Moss' men are looking for a response against former coach Graham Arnold, particularly having been thrashed 5-1 by the Sky Blues when they met in January.
Anderson admitted the 'cashed-up Arnie' campaign in the lead-up to the clash was a distraction, but he hopes the Mariners are more focused and more competitive on Saturday.
"There were things said, that it destabilized the group and it got into our heads, and it probably did," he said.
"As a playing group, we've got a lot of respect for Arnie and what he's done for our club. That's the past now and we've got to look forward.
"The future is Phil Moss and we want to put on strong performances like we did for Arnie, we want to do that for Mossy.
"We want to prove to our fans that we're going to go out there and put on a strong, professional performance.
"As a playing group, we weren't happy with the campaign and we made those thoughts quite clear to the administration, but at the end of the day we're players and we want to go out there and be professional and put on a really strong performance and do our job.
"We don't want to worry about the administration, we want to worry about playing well, playing strong, and I think this weekend we'll be very single-minded in making sure we concentrate on our own jobs and not worry about any distractions."