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Beesotted’s Jim Levack looks back at a cracking night’s entertainment at Old Trafford where the Bees came from behind twice to earn a fully deserved draw against Manchester United.

As the clock ticks down, Brentford fans are slowly getting a clearer idea of what they can expect from the new season.

Our shock and awe of promotion to the top flight is fading with each passing day, only for us to be jolted from our reverie as Thomas Frank’s side redefine normality.

A record signing is considered a low-key bargain at £13.5 million by the same supporters who remember where they were when Jim McNichol signed from Luton… for £33,000.

The side-of-screen Sky ads featuring Ivan Toney arms crossed and quite rightly ahead of Mo Salah to whet the appetite if it needed whetting for the televised Liverpool clash.

Then there’s the friendlies. Where once a game against a ‘superior’ Fulham would draw five thousand excited supporters, we’re now quickly settled in alongside 30,000 at Old Trafford.

About that. The first six minutes were – notwithstanding its friendly status – a little terrifying as United pinged the ball around as Brentford tried to get a foothold.

Early storm over and the final whistle saw Solskjaer’s side hanging on for a draw as the young Bees side stood their ground, got to grips with the pace they’ll experience every week and started to play like we know they can.

Okay “hanging on” might be a little disingenuous.

But someone has to redress the balance of a Premier League-obsessed media only just starting to rub the sleep from its eyes and acknowledge that Brentford might not just be there to make up the numbers.

Certainly the MUTV pundits were fulsome in their praise – easy in a friendly – with well-worn platitudes such as “not phased”, “tough nut to crack” and “proved they can play and are certainly not overawed”.

Of course, friendlies are about getting minutes in legs, but you look for signs. Frank Onyeka’s early introduction to Hannibal was as beautiful as a nice Chianti and Bryan Mbeumo showed that the top tier might just suit him even more.

His equaliser was another of those ‘jolt’ moments where you have to sit up, let it register and hope it’s a taste of things to come when the gloves are properly off.

A 2-2 draw away against top six favourites in the league would bring serious headaches for the Old Trafford boss fresh from his Varane and Sancho spending spree.

Expectation is sky high for every top half Premier League club, while Brentford ­– whose fans outsang the Stretford End ‘library’ – are relegation fodder, whipping boys and, as the uninitiated glibly remind us, “going straight back down”.

Some supporters and media know about our model, most know about Ivan Toney, but very few actually know what we’re about… and that will do us nicely.

Expect a lot more coverage of our club from journalists who previously had only a passing interest and still, if truth be told, consider us something of a novelty.

Only those lucky enough to have been on the journey – and I hate that expression so apologies – truly know what makes us tick and how it will be our secret weapon.

Thomas Frank speaks repeatedly about the values that underpin the club. Togetherness and attitude are at their core along with the famous ‘no dxxxheads’ policy.

Mission statements like those are trotted out within many businesses, but are often little more than a tick box exercise. Not so here.

Anyone yet to watch the superb Onkeya mini-doc and the Bees YouTube channel chat with Kristoffer Ajer cannot fail to be impressed by their mentality, humility and resolve.

They are signings that fall below the radar of most media channels, who only consider a worthwhile capture to be anything in excess of £45 million. But more importantly they look and sound like ‘Brentford signings’.

The hefty price tags come with untold pressure for the likes of Guardiola and Tuchel, but this season Brentford will hopefully play without that weight on their shoulders, purely for the sheer enjoyment of it all. And, to coin a phrase used by the United commentary team, “cause problems to teams this season”.

It will be a steep learning curve – the United game may have been a microcosm of the season that awaits – but as the Bees fans who travelled to rain-sodden Manchester proved, we’re going to enjoy every minute.

There may be the occasional hiding, the odd goal where we simply have to stand back and applaud brilliance, the VAR decision that robs or rewards us.

But one thing is certain. This will be a season like no other where management, players and arguably most importantly the fans, will need cool heads and a sense of perspective.

I’m going for a 12th or 13th finish and that’s not an expectation. It’s a target we’re more than capable of achieving.

Wherever we end up though, I can’t wait for it to get started.

Jim Levack