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@HongKongBee made a surprise, last minute appearance at the Doncaster game, having flown in all the way from Hong Kong for the weekend. And, if Brentford get to Wembley, he’s flying back again he’s decided after a wee pick-me-up at The Holiday Inn, Brentford Lock. The third article in our Bee positive series

I expect I wasn’t the only one going to the Big Red Ball Sunday night feeling despondent and going through the motions. The disappointment of Saturday hadn’t worn off, and while the pain itself was (through years of bitter experience) neither unfamiliar or entirely unexpected, the sheer ingenuity with which fate seemed to conspire against us was hardest to comprehend.

The following morning, thanks to the Big Red Ball I’m over it. Brentford fans, if you’re still trying to come to terms with that horrible horrible moment, I hope the following helps.

Myself and some of the other of the Beesotted crew had a chance to speak to plenty of the players. They are a credit to this football club. All of them were absolutely positive. We are in the position now that we wanted to be in at the start of the season. Yes Saturday was devastating but it is a set-back only. There is no sense that we have fluffed it and “we’ll give it our best shot” but mentally our big chance has gone.

Every player we spoke to was massively confident that we will still do it. We don’t care who we play in the play-offs, we know we are the form team; we know that over two legs we can beat Swindon; and at Wembley a great playing surface and wide open spaces will suit us to overcome Yeovil or Sheff Utd. They firmly believe that we will do it. While it’s our natural defence mechanism as supporters to set our expectations astoundingly low, I believe it too. There is something about this group of players and the management team that we need to believe in. This is new Brentford. This team is not going to break up. In fact, it’s going to be even better next season.

Dean Holdsworth was there last night, receiving a hall of fame award for his goals in the 3rd division Championship season. He made an inspirational speech to the players telling them to want more and push for more because this football club is on the eve of something special. It was truly emotional stuff.

As for Trotta. He cut a forlorn figure on his way to the hotel as he walked past myself and my Dad. Uwe and Mark Warburton approached and gave him a gee up and we all shook hands. You could tell he is in bits but whatever our need to have a scapegoat or blame figure to make things all make sense, it took some sack to turn up last night. And some sack to take that penalty on Saturday. The latter part is almost a direct quote from Harlee Dean who spoke for a long time with the Beesotted table. It was said by more than one person that if Kev O’Connor had taken the penalty and missed, people would have been bemoaning that Trotta should have taken it as he scored against Sheffield Utd in the last couple of games.

In case you are wondering, Kev and Trotta were hanging out together at times during the evening and Trotta was involved in the banter of the two tables which were mostly occupied by the Brentford players. There was laughing and great spirit amongst those incredibly young lads that have belied their years this season. That spirit crucially will continue over the next three games. Far from being the wake that some had predicted, Sunday night was catharsis and it’s a real shame that more Brentford fans couldn’t be exposed to the inspiring atmosphere of the evening.

If you are wavering over going to Swindon because you can’t take anymore and you think we’ve blown it, don’t worry. It will be ok. The players receiving their awards last night all emphasised the importance of the fans’ support. Their respect for the fans was genuine – not mere clichéd platitudes. If you aren’t in the saddle, get back into it. Our team isn’t broken by Saturday. We mustn’t be either.

I can’t go to Swindon ……I’ll be somewhere in the Kowloon vicinity that weekend …. but I will be back for Wembley.

Andy Cooper