Brentford midfielder Stuart Dallas is reaping the rewards of time spent at the wrong end of the table.
The 22-year-old made his second successive start of the campaign in Tuesday’s 1-0 triumph over Crawley Town that has the Bees on the brink of securing promotion to the Championship.
Dallas spent a productive spell on loan at League Two strugglers Northampton Town earlier in the campaign, scoring three goals in the process.
And, while he is yet to open his account for the Bees in 27 appearances for boss Mark Warburton’s men, the Northern Irishman believes his spell away from Griffin Park has prepared him to break his duck sooner rather than later.
“Going out on loan was probably the best thing I could have done,” he said.
“It is a completely different pressure to the pressure of chasing promotion.
“It was tough at Northampton, but I managed to get plenty of game time and score a few goals, too.
“It is nice to be back and it has been going well lately.
“People keep asking me when I’m going to score my first goal for Brentford.
“I’ve had a few chances and hopefully when one goes in, then I’m in the sort of form to get a few.”
Mark Warburton felt his side were benefiting from the experience of last season’s final day heartache at the hands of Doncaster Rovers, after Saturday’s 3-1 win over Notts County – that came thanks to an Adam Forshaw penalty and an Alan Judge double.
“The players have learned from last year,” said the manager.
“They all came through the experience last year and will benefit from that.”
And Tuesday’s win – coupled with Rotherham’s defeat at Sheffield United – means a win at Swindon Town tomorrow could see the Bees clinch promotion with three points when Preston North End visit on Good Friday – should results elsewhere go their way.
But Dallas, who has not felt like a bit part player under Warburton, insists the squad are looking no further than the trip to Wiltshire.
“There were no celebrations when we heard the Rotherham result on Tuesday. We know we are not promoted yet,” he said.
“We have shown all season we are good enough to get promoted. On our day we are one of the best footballing sides in the division.”