Spell on sidelines helped Saunders

Sam Saunders has revealed that a spell out injured helped him rediscover his best form.

The Brentford winger struggled earlier in the season and missed the whole of September, but has since been a key man for boss Uwe Rosler and looked more like the player who impressed during the second half of last term.

His superb free-kick during Saturday’s FA Cup win against Basingstoke was Saunders’ third goal in four matches and he believes his time on the sidelines turned out to be a blessing.

“It’s been a bit stop-start but now I’m feeling like I did last season. In the last few games I really feel like I’ve got my form back,” he told West London Sport.

Saunders has been a star performer for Rosler of late

“Before, I was struggling for form. I don’t know what it was. It was frustrating because I knew I could do it, and I’d proved I could do it, and I wanted the new manager to see I could do it.

“Maybe I was putting added pressure on myself. Then I got injured, watched the games while I was out and saw how the manager wanted the team to play.

“During that time I learned a lot about what the manager would want from me when I came back in. I think he’s been happy with my performances since I came back and I feel like I’ve started afresh and am ready to kick on now.

“The goals have been coming too. As a wide-man you expect to provide plenty of assists but getting some goals too is a bonus. Hopefully I can get a few more.”

He would dearly love to continue that scoring run in this weekend’s match against Charlton – the club he was with as a schoolboy.

Saunders, the face of Brentford’s advertising campaign on local buses, was with the Addicks for five years before being released.

Having worked his way into the professional game via spells at Welling, Ashford and Carshalton Athletic, occasions such as Saturday’s derby are ones for him to savour.

He explained: “It’s a special game for me against Charlton. I always look forward to that one.

“Plus, with them being top of the league and us in good form it’s going to be a good game and hopefully there’ll be a good crowd and atmosphere.

“I was with Charlton from the age of 10 until 15. I was with the academy there but in the end I didn’t get kept on.  I was a late developer and had always been a bit small.

“I came out of the game, went into non-League and have progressed up the leagues since then. I’m enjoying it now and even though I’m 28 I’ve only been a professional for five years.

“I had to come the long way but it’s made me appreciate things. I think I’m a better player because of it.”