Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli believes the close competition between him and David Button for the Whites’ number one jersey will inspire him to keep improving.

The former England under-21 custodian reclaimed his first-team spot for Saturday’s tight win over Birmingham after Slavisa Jokanovic dropped former Brentford goalkeeper Button following the defeat at Griffin Park. Bettinelli, a popular figure with Fulham faithful after joining the club as a teenager, told Get West London’s Ryan O’Donovan that needs regular football in order to continue his development.

I signed a deal in the summer, things didn’t pan out in pre-season because I got injured, but that’s part and parcel of football, you can’t plan for those things. At the end of the day I signed a nice contract here, I want to stay here but games are important to me and I didn’t have enough last season. If I can stay in this position now until the end of the season, get on a run then it’ll be a good season for me.

The 25 year-old stopper, who has racked up 146 professional appearances, was a little rusty after four months on the sidelines but hasn’t become downcast during a prolonged spell on the Fulham bench.

I did it pretty much all of last season, I’ve been no stranger to it. It’s tough being a number two but that is part and parcel of being a footballer, we have to do that job and unfortunately for the 20 games this season I’ve had to do that job.

Bettinelli insisted that his good relationship with the benched Button won’t be affected by Jokanovic’s latest team selection.

I’m sure Butts will support me now that I’m in his position like I supported him for the past 20 games, but me and Butts are great friends, nothing will change that, so we’ll keep working and keep getting better, both of us.