Matthew Briggs admits the 2013/14 campaign is a massive season for him as he looks to nail down a regular First Team place at Fulham.
Briggs, who is the Club’s longest-serving player having made his debut back in 2007 at the age of 16, has been used regularly so far this campaign as injuries to Kieran Richardson and Sascha Riether have seen him play at both right and left-back.
"I was a bit surprised [to play at Sunderland in the opening day win] because I didn't feature in pre-season,” he said. “I performed well when I came on for 70 minutes. We were solid and kept a clean sheet. I thought I would've been in the team again for the next game, but maybe the Manager didn't want to burn me out.”
Over the years, the defender has found First Team games hard to come by at the Cottage and has been sent out on loan four times in three seasons, most recently when he almost helped Watford seal promotion to the top flight in the 2013/14 Championship Play-Off Final.
"It’s been difficult to nail down a spot because we’ve also got John Arne Riise and Kieran Richardson,” he said. "I have to work hard and fight for my place and, if not I’m happy, I’ll go on loan.
“I’ve played in the Under-21s for five years, so I need competitive football to push on. If I go out again I’ve got to perform to my maximum. I want to be playing week in, week out. That’s what I need to develop.
“No disrespect to Peterborough United and Bristol City, but they were struggling at the time so it was difficult to go there and play to the best of my ability. When I went to Watford they were pushing for promotion, so that spell stands me in good stead.”
Briggs, though, wants to be playing in the Fulham side in the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League and admitted it’s still a dream of his to cement his place in Martin Jol’s plans.
“This season's massive for me,” he said. “I came through the Academy here and feel at home. It's still my dream to play regularly in the Premier League for Fulham. We haven't spoken about a new contract but, of course, I would love to stay on.”