Phil Dowson 'hopeful' on new Northampton Saints deal
Northampton Saints flanker Phil Dowson says he is "hopeful" that a new contract can be agreed.
The 33-year-old, who joined Saints from Newcastle in 2009, is the last of the club's high-profile players to have a contract running out this summer.
Dowson told BBC Radio Northampton: "I'm hopefully in their thinking. There's lots for them to consider but hopefully it will get sorted.
"Of course I'd like to stay here. It's the top club in the country.
Dowson added: "The squad are unbelievable and the culture that Dylan Hartley and the senior players have put in is not only very effective but very enjoyable.
"It's an environment I haven't come across many times."
Premiership champions Saints had won seven matches in a row in all competitions before the defeat by Sale Sharks, and they next travel to Ospreys in the European Champions Cup.
Dowson has played in all but two of Saints' matches this season.
"I'm still enjoying playing, being out there and being competitive," he said. "[Losing at] Sale was hugely disappointing and frustrating. We had an emotional debrief - there are days when nothing goes to plan, and that was definitely one of those.
"The strength in depth in the squad should've been there to compete. We have to learn the lessons, take it into this week and make sure that, mentally, we're a whole lot better.
"But I don't think any team, unless the salary cap is abolished, will go unbeaten through the season.
"In Europe, we've found out in previous years that if you have one off day, it costs you qualification. We're a side that prides itself on bouncing back, on recovering from upsets and abject performances. We're looking forward to the challenge."