Brentford journalist, Jim Levack, explains why he feels Bees fans, and the players they follow, shouldn’t get too carried away by the success of the past five days… wise words mate.
Ian Holloway will have the easiest team talk of any Championship manager this weekend if the Brentford squad’s approach to the game echoes that of their fans.
Were I him I’d be briefing Danny Shittu and Co in that west country drawl to get in amongst us, mix it up physically and then see where we go from there.
Fortunately the Griffin Park set up is now far too professional and scientific for that to happen, but it’s important that the players don’t start to believe the hype.
In some quarters it’s been justified… let’s face it, the slick, one touch football is the best I’ve ever seen in 40 plus years of watching Brentford.
But some of the rhetoric being hurled about, even by some observers I quite respect, has been well over the top.
One recently said that the Derby game was the best 90 minutes of football he’d ever seen from a Bees side.
The plaudits continued to fly in after the Forest game, to the extent that the ‘love-in’ is now dangerously close to becoming quite sycophantic.
To bring some degree of perspective back to proceedings, I’d say that the second half against Derby was exceptional and that the City Ground showing was hugely impressive, a late 20 minute jitter aside.
What I’m trying to say is let’s all keep our feet on the ground here by remembering the tiny margins that decide Championship football matches.
Derby could have had several goals and had they come at the right time might have changed the complexion of the game. Forest too were only thwarted by several superb David Button stops.
That might sound negative, but key moments at key times will decide where the points go in this division. Take the Watford game when Brentford deserved at least one but got none.
One of the big differences between Brentford and Forest was confidence, which is – to my mind – a crucial factor in performance.
Playing football when you’re on a high is easy. You do incredible things without even thinking. Without confidence, nothing comes instinctively and the simplest of passes goes astray as we saw from the Forest lads on Wednesday.
Ian Holloway will be hoping Brentford’s players’ confidence is so high it nudges into cockiness and arrogance, so his charges can take advantage.
I’m pretty certain though that Mark Warburton, whose recent substitutions and selections of Toumani and Toral, have been inspired, will not allow that to happen.
Football at Brentford is far better researched these days thanks to the excellent fitness and conditioning team, but I also suspect his staff will have one eye on any signs of arrogance creeping into individuals’ games.
There was no sign of it in the last two games but human nature suggests that wins against two powerhouses can turn players’ heads.
So I’m sorry I don’t share the view of some that Brentford’s performances have been perfection… because there’s always room for improvement in performances and greater consistency.