DETERMINED Lee Thompson wants to follow Russ Penn in earning a longer contract at Kidderminster Harriers.

The diminutive forward has forced his way into the Harriers line-up after a slow start to the season due to personal problems.

Thompson, a summer signing from Boston United, is now looking to add goals to his high work-rate and sharp movement.

His only strike so far this season arrived in the 4-0 FA Trophy win over Scarborough in mid-December. But he has since formed a classic `big man, little man' strike partnership with on-loan Andy White.

Thompson, still only 23, has drawn praise from boss Mark Yates recently and is targeting an extended contract beyond the end of this season, which promising midfielder Penn has already achieved.

The Sheffield-born player said: "Obviously, a new contract for next year is what I'm playing for.

"I think I'm playing well at the moment and if I keep doing that I can only wait to see if I hear anything from the gaffer over the next couple of months.

"Things are working out well at the moment with me playing alongside Andy. I've played with him before so I obviously know him well. Ideally though, I'd like to score a few more goals as I certainly believe I can. I score a lot in training but things just don't seem to be falling my way in matches at the moment."

Thompson, who netted 17 times in Boston colours between 2002 and 2005, is gunning for lowly Forest Green in Gloucestershire on Saturday.

And though he believes Harriers can break into the top half of the table, the striker admits a Conference promotion push next season is now the realistic aim.

Thompson continued: "Although we haven't given up on this season yet -- four or five wins is all it takes to get into the mix -- we're obviously going to be looking towards being nearer the top of the league next season.

"We've certainly got the quality of players here to do that. It's just taken a while for us to be confident in our belief of how good we are.

"Clearly, I'd want to be a part of that. I'm enjoying playing my football here."

And Thompson is striving to repay the fans for their patience with him earlier in the season. He added: "I've had a lot of setbacks this season. A lot has been going on at home and, of course, it's made a difference to my football.

"I disappointed a lot of people in my first couple of months here. I wasn't producing the goods but I think I'm finally getting back to where I should be.

"The support I've had has been brilliant and I'm starting to enjoy playing again now. Hopefully, I can repay the faith the supporters here have shown in me."

Meanwhile, former Harriers loan winger Marc Pugh, 18, has been made available on a free transfer by Burnley.