Off-contract Canterbury centre Tim Lafai hasn’t heard from new coach Trent Barrett, so he plans to use the final six games of the season to impress and secure a new contract.
Lafai has performed strongly in his three games since returning to the Bulldogs in a mid-season switch from St George Illawarra in July.
He is yet to hear from Barrett, but he will only use the silence as motivation to prove he is worthy of another deal at Belmore.
“It makes me want to work harder and dig a little deeper to get some good footy going,” Lafai said.
“These next six weeks are a good opportunity for myself and a few other boys to show, not only Trent, but other clubs out there what we have and what we can provide for them into the future.”
Lafai is open to interest from rival NRL clubs, but his preference is to remain at Canterbury where he previously played 74 games and scored 30 tries between 2011 and 2015.
“Definitely, I’ve been here before and I’ve settled in pretty comfortably – myself and my family,” he said.
“If that offer does come up, I’d be interested, especially with a new coach coming.
“But for myself, it is all about putting my head down and working hard every week to try and finish this season on a high note.
“Hopefully that side of things will take care of itself.”
Canterbury almost defeated the Wests Tigers last week but failed to execute in the closing minutes in a heartbreaking one-point loss.
Lafai though denies the Bulldogs couldn’t close out the game because they have forced a habit of losing.
“No, you can see in the past four weeks that the boys’ effort has been there,” he said.
“We can definitely smell a win around the corner, and we are so close.
“The boys still know how to win. We don’t go into the game preparing to lose.”
It’s why Lafai says Canterbury are determined to avoid the club’s sixth wooden spoon since 1935.
The Bulldogs are only two points behind Brisbane and North Queensland, who sit in 15th and 14th position respectively.
“I’d like to think that (the spoon) is at the back of our minds,” he said.
“It is something that we don’t want to finish with, especially at a club like this with so much pride.
“If we can finish off strong to avoid that wooden spoon – that is our aim for this club.”