JAKE Buxton has thanked the Burton Albion supporters for their reaction to his recent performances - and will make a decision on his future in the summer.
Captain Buxton has started three out of our last four Sky Bet League One games, with The Brewers conceding three goals in that time and keeping two clean sheets in our last two games.
The one game Buxton did not start saw him come off the bench after just 12 minutes, the 33-year-old replacing Jamie Allen following a red card for John Brayford, shoring up the defence.
Buxton’s performances in the last two games have drawn positive reactions from the Brewers faithful, particularly after the 2-0 win away at AFC Wimbledon last weekend.
And Buxton, who spoke to burtonalbionfc.co.uk back in August about how much that support means to the players, admits an improvement in his own performances is what has led to that reaction.
"I think my performances of late have been okay and that is the only reason why I’m getting a little bit of love back from the supporters, because I’ve performed to the standard required," said Buxton.
"My performances haven’t been good enough in the last 18 months but recently I’ve performed well. I appreciated that on Saturday (at AFC Wimbledon) and it is a massive boost, even at 33.
"Everybody wants to be loved and cheered. I think I spoke to the media about five months ago saying your performances become a lot better when you’re cheered by supporters, so yeah - it was nice to see on Saturday.
"Thumbs-up and thank you very much!"
Buxton is currently taking his coaching badges and says he wants to stay in the game when he does eventually hang up his boots.
Manager Nigel Clough has regularly spoken of the importance of Buxton's influence within the squad, both on and off the pitch.
But the experienced centre-half is very much focused on the here and now, and helping to steer The Brewers further up the League One table, before making a decision on his future in the summer.
"I’m doing all my qualifications so that in the summer I’m in a position where I am qualified," said Buxton.
"I do want to stay in the game when I finish and when that decision comes, and something presents itself to me, you weigh up your options and see what’s around the corner.
"I’ve been given the opportunity to keep the shirt and that’s all I’ve known since I was a young lad, and all I’ve focused on. The circus at the side of it, doing badges and putting everything in place for this time, happens to every footballer.
"It’s happened to me at a club I’ve been at before, one that’s local and I’ve probably been a little bit more open about it than most players.
"It’s just nice to be in the side. I’ll continue performing well and when that day comes I’ll make sure you (the media) are all well aware it’s going to happen!"
And Buxton is open and honest about his own thought process in recent months.
"I had a bit of time out of the side before Christmas and you think 'am I slowing up, is it coming to an end?'" he added.
"But I’ve got back in the side and found a new lease of life, performing okay. The important thing is the points have been coming and we’ve been doing okay - so we’ll see where it leads in the summer.
"It’s not nice being in the changing room, just picking up your money and not playing. Some would do that for the next five years and do that, but as you've seen I’m a bit different to most.
"I want to make sure that if I’m at this football club, I’m here and deserve to be paid and that when I go on that pitch, I’m capable of doing a job."