BLACKBURN Rovers defender Nissa Johansson is hoping to persuade Mark Hughes that he's worth a new contract.

The Swedish international's present deal is due to run out in the summer, but he wants to stay at Rovers next season and he's hoping to open contract talks with the club in the next few weeks.

Johansson, who joined Rovers four years ago from Bundesliga outfit FC Nuremberg, has been in and out of the team since Hughes took over in September and he was dropped to the bench for Saturday's 1-0 defeat against Arsenal.

However, the former Bayern Munich starlet insists he is happy at Rovers and he's now hoping to convince Hughes he's worth keeping on during the final run-in.

"We're going to talk about that in the future," said Johansson, who has made 20 appearances for Rovers in the Premiership this term.

"I know they've been in contact with my agent and my agent has been in contact with them, so hopefully in the next couple of weeks we can sit down and talk.

"But if they want me to stay then I'll probably stay."

Johansson has struggled to nail down a regular starting place since Graeme Souness signed him in a £2.7 million deal in October 2001.

Over the last four seasons, the 25-year-old has only started 57 Premiership games for the club and his lack of opportunities has cost him a place in the Sweden squad.

However, his ability to play in a number of positions means he is still an important member of the first team squad and he's been included in the 16 for all but four of Hughes' 32 games in charge so far.

Johansson, who was primarily signed as a centre back but has often filled in at left-back, said: "I'm like any other footballer, I just like to play.

"At the moment I'm not really playing out of position (at full-back) but I've had better games at centre half than I have at left back.

"But I'm just enjoying playing and every game I play, I get more used to the role.

"The most important thing for me is to have a chance of playing.

"I know it's a squad game but you need a manager who believes in you and thinks you can do well at the highest level."

Rovers have tightened up significantly at the back since Hughes replaced Souness earlier in the season and Johansson's part in that should not be overlooked.

Before he was dropped to the bench on Saturday, the Swede had started all of Rovers' previous six games and Brad Friedel only conceded one goal during that period, to Burnley's Micah Hyde.

That sequence has also coincided with the arrivals of Ryan Nelsen and Aaron Mokoena, who have both helped Rovers to toughen up defensively, and Johansson admits he's a big fan of Hughes' two new recruits.

"We look very solid and that's our main concern at the moment - the defensive part of our game," said Johansson.

"Ryan has done excellently, and so have Andy Todd and Lucas Neill.

"And if anything has happened to them, Aaron has come in and done well, too, so we look very solid and there's a few lads who can come in and play in a number of positions like Dominic Matteo."