MARK Yates is confident he can retain the services of Darren Carter to the end of the season and beyond.
The Cheltenham Town boss is due to hold talks with the cultured midfielder, who has scored five goals in 17 League Two start this season.
His current deal expires at the end of next month, but a man highlighted as a shining example to youngsters hoping to make the grade in football has been giving Yates the right signals about extending his stay at the Abbey Business Stadium.
"It's a busy period for us at the moment, but Darren's situation will be sorted," Yates said.
"He wants to be here and that's the main thing.
"Knowing the type of person he is, I don't have any qualms about saying he'll be here for the rest of the season and hopefully beyond.
"He's really added something since he came here."
Carter made his name at Birmingham City, scoring the winning penalty in the play-off final when they won promotion to the Premier League in 2002.
He spent time on loan at Sunderland before switching to West Brom in a £1.5million deal in 2005.
He has since played for Preston and Millwall, spending his entire career before this season in the top two divisions.
The 29-year-old missed the whole of last season through injury, but Yates said his attitude since arriving at League Two Cheltenham has been exemplary.
"Darren had a good start here followed by a slight dip, but that happens when you've missed a year," Yates said.
"He's come back strongly and he's the first in and the last out of the training ground every day.
"He is a shining example to all young players, particularly the youth team lads here and the young pros in my squad."
Yates has also hinted he would like to extend Jake Taylor's loan spell from Reading to a second month.
With Port Vale not in action until tomorrow afternoon, Cheltenham can move into second place with a victory at Rochdale this evening (7.45pm).
Yates hopes to welcome Kaid Mohamed back into his squad having been shorn of his services in last Saturday's 1-1 home draw against Port Vale.
Winger Mohamed, who scored the extra-time winner at Hereford United to set up Cheltenham's FA Cup third round tie against Everton, has recovered from a badly bruised ankle.