Matt Smith admitted this season at Fulham has been the most frustrating time of his career as he has been forced to sit on the bench and watch Ross McCormack and Moussa Dembele bag a hatful of goals.
The striker scored his first goal since August as Fulham fell to a 3-1 defeat to Nottingham Forest last Saturday.
The 26-year-old has been limited to a few minutes here and there over the course of the season, but he accepted that both McCormack and Dembele have been worthy starters.
He said: “They’ve been in terrific form. It’s been the most frustrating period of my career bar none. I think I’ve played about 45 minutes in the past 20 games, so it’s been very frustrating.
“You have to give credit to the two strikers who’ve been putting the goals away.
“I’d like to think that I can impact a game, so hopefully I’ll get some more minutes in these last two games.”
Lewis DarlingRoss McCormack and Moussa Dembele celebrate Smith is determined to end the season on a high note as Fulham travel to west London rivals Brentford on Saturday.
On paper, the contest should be high-scoring as games involving the Whites have seen the most goals, with the Bees in second.
“It’s probably going to be 0-0,” Smith joked when he heard the statistic. “Hopefully it’ll be an exciting game and one we want to win. While the points mean nothing and we’re safe, the points mean nothing to Brentford either. It’s about personal pride and winning the west London derby.
“It’s going to be a feisty encounter and one we want to come out on top of. I’d like to say you’ll see an exciting game, but players are playing for their futures out there. t’s a case of addressing it as you would in any other game. There’ll be no taking the foot off the pedal as it’s about having a positive end to the season.”
Smith knows the Fulham fans have been frustrated with how the season has gone, but believes the club has learned a lot over the course of the campaign.
He said: “It’s been difficult for them. I’m sure they expected an easier route back into the Premier League. When I was growing up, Fulham were an established Premier League side. I can assure them it is equally as frustrating for the players. These two seasons have given us a bit more nous and understanding of what the division is about. It’s very tough and requires a different kind of quality to the Premier League.”