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Optimism and Brentford are two words that haven’t ever sat together particularly comfortably in my time supporting the Bees.

I’ve seen a few encouraging green shoots of progress over the years but I’ve always wisely tempered my enthusiasm with a degree of caution.

But this year seems different.

This year the Bees are going up.

Yes it’s still very early in the season and of course we may yet face injuries and the threat of our players being poached by other clubs  – but never have I had such belief that we’ll get through it. That we’ve already got ample replacements in the squad or the ability to bring them in at short notice from elsewhere. That we can shrug off the setbacks.

I’m old enough to realise our players aren’t perfect. That we’ll lose games we should have won. That we’ll gift stupid goals to the oppostion. That we’ll miss bloody penalties. But what I’ve seen so far of this squad of talented and commited footballers just fills me with pride and utter utter confidence.

That confidence seems to have reached the players too – we’ve scored two absolute peaches already this season whilst our display of “keep ball” in the second half vs Sheffield United on Saturday was tonic for the soul.

Last season I thought we were a bit negative at times. We are currently playing three “proper” strikers up front with the talismanic might of Farid and the indulgent trickery of Fillo waiting in the wings.  Stuart Dallas and Paul Hayes – who would probably have played every game of the season for us in previous set-ups – couldn’t even make our bench on Saturday.

Last season I thought we were competitive but a bit too nice. We now have Alan McCormack who seems to have galvanised the team single handedly – his influence, experience and desire to win certainly shouldn’t be underestimated.

Others too seem to have risen to this challenge – Tony Craig and Harlee Dean seem meaner and more uncompromising than ever before whilst midfielders Forshaw and Saville gallop around the pitch athletically winning possession. And then delivering a ruthless end product.

Sheffield United are not a poor team. They will challenge near the top this season and in David Weir they have a talented and progressive manager. But on Saturday we made them look second rate – and you always felt we had more in the tank if we needed it.

Whilst Uwe Rosler has added maturity to our ranks over the summer through the likes of McCormack and Javi Venta, the bulk of our squad are young players who are getting better and better.

The template for our success, both now and in the future, lies in bringing through such young talent.

And right now Griffin Park is awash with it.

And that’s why the Bees are going up.

Condorman (@thecondorman)