Nottingham Forest winger Jamie Paterson hopes his goal against Fulham on Wednesday will help him cement a regular first-team place.
The 22-year-old, who scored 12 goals in his debut season after joining from Walsall last summer, has found opportunities difficult to come by so far this campaign.
But when given his chance against The Cottagers he stepped off the bench to score his side’s fifth goal of the night and his first of the season.
Paterson told nottinghamforest.co.uk: “I came on at a difficult stage of the match when we were 3-2 down but it was good to get on the pitch, help the team turn the game around and finish off the scoring.
“It was a good ball from Michail Antonio and I made my decision early that I was going to cut inside. Thankfully it hit the back of the net.
“It’s been difficult and slightly frustrating time lately, but we’re top of the league which I and the rest of the lads are delighted about. I’m pleased to have a goal under my belt and all I’m focused on at the minute is cementing a regular place in the side.”
Strong starts for Forest’s new attacking players have left few opportunities for others to step into their place and, while Paterson hopes to be involved at Millwall tomorrow, he accepts those currently ahead of him deserve their position at the forefront of Stuart Pearce’s thoughts.
He said: “Michail and Britt Assombalonga have both been very bright since they signed. They’ve scored and been involved in a lot of goals, as has Chris Burke.
“It just shows how much quality we have in the squad. Going forward we’re very effective and the competition for places is huge.
“But I’ll be ready for selection at Millwall and, if I’m a substitute, I’ll be looking to come on and change the game.
“The most important thing is that the team gets three points, but it’ll be a difficult match.”