Brentford forward Tommy Smith is desperate to show he’s still got something to offer after a year in the Cardiff cold.
The former Bluebird was shown the door in the summer after a miserable campaign where he failed to make a single Premier League appearance.
However, the 34-year-old was handed a deal by the Bees after impressing on trial and climbed off the bench to bag the equaliser on his debut in Saturday’s stalemate with Charlton Athletic.
And Smith says he feels fitter than ever as he tries to make his mark at Griffin Park.
He said: “I had a great time at Cardiff but my chances were limited last year. It’s a long season when you don’t play. I still feel I’ve got a lot to offer and there’s some running in the legs left.
“In the summer I found myself in an unusual position where I was without a club, and you’re constantly looking at the phone waiting for it to ring.
“It was a worry because you want to be sorted somewhere and I missed the first few weeks of pre-season, which was tough.
“I had to do bits on my own to try and keep myself fit but it’s difficult to replicate what you would do in a group.
“I know the manager Mark Warburton from my time at Watford and he let me come in and train. We spoke every day and after two or three weeks we got it sorted.
“It’s great to be part of a club that’s going places. Everyone is hungry for success and looking forward to the future.
“I want to play on as long as I can and feel as fit as ever. The aches and pains are worse in the mornings but I can still keep up with the youngsters.”
The Bees trailed to Igor Vetokele’s opener just after the hour mark when he nodded home Johnnie Jackson’s inswinging corner.
Charlton wasted several chances to wrap up victory before Smith’s late strike took a wicked deflection off Tal Ben Haim and wrong-footed Stephen Henderson to rescue a point on Brentford’s first appearance in the second tier since 1993.
Smith added: “We were slightly disappointed with our overall performance because we would have liked to play in a more fluid fashion.
"Charlton came out and made it tough for us and we struggled at points. But it showed the character we have got to dig in."