NICKY Forster insists he wouldn’t have come back to Brentford if it was the same club he left.
The striker scored his first Brentford goal in 13 years at Woking on Tuesday night – the last being the second of a brace at York City in January 1997.
Since then, Forster has banged in goals at Birmingham, Reading, Ipswich, Hull, Brighton and Charlton, before returning to the Bees this summer.
And although he admits it’s a very different Brentford he’s come back too, he still expects them to be pushing for promotion like the sides mid-1990s Bees sides he played in.
Forster said: “It’s a very different club now, and one showing huge potential to move forward. But if it was the same Brentford, I wouldn’t have come back.
“I wanted a new challenge, not to go over old ground again, and to be a part of the new Brentford is an exciting challenge, and the play-offs is our aim.
“I feel I’m a very different player now too. I’m not as raw as I was when I first played here, I’m more of a cleverer player now.
“It was good to get my first goal. I have always been a slow starter – it was the same at Reading and Brighton. In fact, the only time I have hit the ground running was during my first Brentford spell.”
Despite now being the ripe old age of 36, Forster’s form during pre-season – he was brilliant against Woking – will surely see him starting up front when the new season kicks off at Carlisle next Saturday.
Forster is too wily to take that for granted, but if he does start, he had no idea who his partner will be, having played with four different ones so far.
He said: “ Charlie MacDonald has scored goals wherever he goes, but his all-round game is good as well, and he’s very important to this club.
“ Carl Cort has a lovely touch and is brilliant at bringing the ball down and holding it up or laying it off, while Myles Weston is obviously a winger, but showed against Woking what he can do if needed up front.
“Unfortunately Izale McLeod was out on loan from Charlton when I was playing there at the end of last season, so I didn’t get the chance to play with him, but I thought he did well against Woking.
“I wouldn’t compare any of them to Bob Taylor (who Forster formed a deadly partnership with during his first spell), they all have different qualities.”
Although Forster is no longer in touch with Taylor, he still speaks to Martin Grainger and Jamie Bates from his first spell at the club.