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There are always pros and cons surrounding Brentford matches appearing live on TV – and this Saturday’s SKY featured clash with Middlesbrough is certainly no different.

As we all become a little more acclimatised to our hard-earned and richly deserved lofty Championship stature, and with the Bees occupying a pivotal play-off berth place, not to mention further promotion-deciding fixtures looming on the horizon, SKY TV’s planners will, no doubt, be salivating at having the Bees on their lunchtime menu again some time soon… or something like that!

Our easy-on-the-eye style of play, and the positive stories that so many of us are trying to report to the world, can also be show-cased. The national press are key allies in helping that ‘on the rise’ message permeate to a general public that we need to be aware of, and fascinated enough about, to want to come along and join the Bees family… So Saturday’s top of the table clash gives another brilliant opportunity to woo decision forming journalists with our friendly club and attacking play, and in turn, to educated the people who read or listen to their reports, as to just how far Brentford FC have come. This match should be seen as a real teaser as to where we have set our sights.

But I’m as worried about the effects of the early kick-off as much as I am about the Boro players if I’m honest… The atmosphere always suffers due to the absence of what we’ll call the ‘London Pride Factor’… the players (usually ours for some reason) often seem slightly lethargic, and over all, the match itself is more often than not a poor relation to the one that would have taken place at three o’clock.

Middlesbrough are fresh from a magnificent win over Manchester City at The Etihad Stadium, a performance that has been dubbed by Boro left-back George Friends as ‘counting for nothing if we don’t beat Brentford’. No pressure there then George. I have a hunch that their win over City could count for little (maybe not nothing) based on that train of thought… The Bees are well over due a draw.

But for three straight wins to become four, we need the Bees to come out of the traps all-guns-blazing rather than sleepy-eyed… This early kick-off is a bit of a pain as it throws a slight a spanner in the well-oiled preparation works, especially for the travelling fans who will have to set off at some God forsaken hour to reach West London in time for kick-off… Let’s hope the M1 and M25 are kind to them on the way down.

Below par Brentford went down 4-0 at the Riverside early in the season (the Besotted fans video can be seen above), in a game where we did ourselves little justice… One of only a handful of fixtures in which Warbuton’s expected standards of performance have fallen well short of the mark… I won’t be alone in hoping that is the ‘Brentford’ Boro are preparing for.

If so, the 12,000 fans packed inside Griffin Park, and the millions watching at home or in pubs on television, will be in for a real Brentford treat.

Dave Lane

A wee match preparation note. Hundreds of Boro fans have already booked into Brentford pubs from 9am and will be in fine spirits – especially after their victory last weekend. Early kick-offs are normally a damp squib for Brentford. Lets make this game an exception with fans up at the crack of dawn in the pubs early (some open at 9am) to get the vibe going for this very important match.