CRAIG Davies accepts the next few weeks could make or break his chances of staying on at Wanderers next season.

Despite leading the club’s scoring charts with seven goals, there are no guarantees for the Wales international, whose campaign has been blighted by hamstring injuries.

Two superb strikes on his return to the side at Cardiff on Monday provided a timely reminder to Neil Lennon that he is an asset when fully fit.

But the 28-year-old accepts he might need more to convince his manager to offer a new deal to remain with the club.

“I don’t know what is going to happen,” he told The Bolton News. “I’m out of contract – but Bolton is somewhere I like playing and the staff and fans have been really good with me.

“Every time I see them they’ve got nothing but positive things to say to me, so I am really happy as long as I stay fit.

“The last few months have been incredibly frustrating for me. I’d worked so hard to get back in January but then started at Sheffield Wednesday and saw it all taken away from me right at the end of the game when I picked up another injury.

“But now I have started to understand my body a bit more. Sometimes I put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed and sometimes I have over-done it a little bit.

“Now I am looking after myself and I want to stay fit for the next five games and help the boys get as far up the table as we can. What happens after that happens.

“We finished on 59 points last season and I want to see how close we can get to that.”

Watching Davies in full flow at Cardiff illustrated how far he has come in his two-and-a-half years with Wanderers.

Dougie Freedman’s first cash signing, his initial impact was dulled by injury and fitness problems, until he was far enough down the pecking order to be loaned out to Preston North End at the end of last season.

Wanderers’ inability to sign Lukas Jutkiewicz in the summer led to a second chance, and while Davies remains a slave to his hamstrings, his goal-and-game return has been the best of his Bolton career.

It also seems a shame we have not seen more of his partnership with Emile Heskey, the pair who dismantled Cardiff to great effect at the start of the week.

Davies has enjoyed playing alongside the former England international, backed up by another veteran in Eidur Gudjohnsen, and believes his own game is improving as a result.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure to play with them,” he said. “We share the workload, Emile’s hold-up play is unbelievable. He talks through the game and helps me so much – we get on really well on and off the pitch.

“You don’t play at the level he has without being a great footballer. And with all the clubs he’s been at, he’s played, it hasn’t just been a bit part.

“It’s the same with Eidur. He’s great to have around the place and you can see the quality he has with that finish against Cardiff.”

Wanderers host Norwich tomorrow looking to derail their charge for automatic promotion.

The Canaries were lauded as the best side in the division by Lennon when they rolled over the Whites on Halloween at Carrow Road but Davies feels the return of a few key players from injury could make it a different prospect this time around.

“They are a good side but to be honest we prefer to play against the teams that are up there,” he said. “We’ve got the squad to beat them and they know it.

“There have been a lot of injuries here over the last three or four months and that has killed us off a little bit. But a few are coming back now and we look a lot stronger.

“Now I think the manager wants to build for next season and make sure all the players are right. Bolton should be better.

“We’re playing for the fans now. You look at how many came to Cardiff – and how many other clubs would bring that many when there’s not necessarily anything to play for.

“But they have been outstanding and we need to make sure we play for pride between now and the end of the season, individually and as a team.”

Davies does have a back-up plan, just in case he doesn’t get a contract offer from the Whites.

The striker, who hit the headlines recently for coming to the aid of an elderly couple whose car had broken down on Chorley New Road, might just dig out the overalls once again.

“If I’m out of contract next season maybe I can be an AA man – get myself a little van,” he joked. “If anyone needs any petrol let me know, they’ve got my Twitter account.”