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Despite the threat of losing one of the best players to grace Griffin Park in most of our lifetimes, and with several of our Championship rivals spending big in an attempt to reach the land of Premier League milk and honey, Brentford fans are in mighty confident mood ahead of the new season.

Almost 900 fans took part in the @Beesotted Twitter 24-hour poll over the weekend, which is a very big cross section of the Bees’ support, and even with the news of Jota once again failing to take part in the club’s pre-season friendly programme, the majority of the Brentford faithful are predicting Dean Smith’s side to be pushing for the play-offs – there’s a decent proportion even more upbeat and tipping us for promotion to the top flight for the first time in seventy years.

As you can see from the stats above, the vibe is good, which is backed up by increased season ticket sales for the club’s fourth season in the Championship… the capture of Neil Maupay and Kamohelo Mokotjo has boosted expectations, however, fans can no doubt expect a bit more in and out action before the curtain raiser at Sheffield United.

There are question marks over several players’ futures including Lasse Vibe, Maxime Colin, Ryan Woods, plus one or two others in contract negotiations alongside Jota.

But make no mistake, 900 people constitutes a significant straw poll, and for 63% to be predicting The Bees to be involved in the promotion shake up is hugely exciting. Of course, if you can’t be optimistic at this time of year, when the slate has been wiped clean and anything is still possible, then I’m not sure when you can be, however, Brentford fans are (rightly or wrongly) notoriously ‘realistic’ when assessing their club’s chances, with many using previous bad experiences to call a rain check on getting too carried away.

For the record, my vote was for another top ten finish, but I genuinely feel we can do far, far better than that… there is genuine strength in depth to our squad, and whenever our better players are sold on now, they tend to go for a king’s ransom and we replace them with equally exciting prospects. Each outgoing player does appear to fund two or three more quality prospects.

The amazing voting stats  suggest that maybe we should be all heading down the bookies to put a few quid on the lads. It’s got to be worth a £50 punt, surely?

Dave Lane