Spread the love

Writing the words you’re (hopefully) about to read is going to be hard for me. But I’ll try. As a fourth-generation Brentford fan brought up on a diet of fluctuating failure and partial success, I’ve had negativity hotwired into me from birth.

As a journalist I prefer to call it a healthy cynicism… a reality check or counterbalance against those people who seem to always think everything will be absolutely fine. And God, how I’d love to have just a little of that positivity coursing through my veins.

I’m jealous of them. It would add years to my life. I doff my cap off to them if they are both always optimistic and a Brentford fan.

Waking up after a fruitless trek to Lancashire – featuring several £2.50 pints with my northern ‘brother’ Clarets fan Wrighty (gratuitous name check) and a great chat with BBC presenter Tony Livesey where I rocked the fanboy look – I’m trying to push the plus points.

From now to the end of the season I’m going to be optimistic. It will be tough and a completely new tack for me. But to be honest, if I can do it, we all can and let’s face it, it’s the best chance we’ve got of staying up.

No. Scrub that. Chance is the wrong word. We don’t need to rely on that. With nine games to go, all the cards remain very much in our own hands.

I’ve woken up the morning after and the sun is shining brightly in the sky, my lad is knocking up a consolation bacon and egg breakfast and the prospect of a cycle looms.

It’s also made me realise that with 11 men Thomas would have had more freedom to make changes when he wanted and yes, we’d have won that game – probably at a canter.

Bryan’s introduction was like pouring petrol on a reluctant fire, his zest and trickery instantly igniting those around him. ‘Yes we can’ seemed to be the sudden belief.

It was overdue. Ivan, who has cut an isolated figure for several games, was energised. Another five minutes and we’d have equalised or won it. With 10 men let’s not forget!

That in itself – even more so now the dust has settled in my head – is testament to the fighting spirit and character of a side that battled hard for almost 100 minutes with a man less. In the toughest league in the world.

Yes, like me Thomas Frank may well have woken up regretting his mini half-time rant at the excellent turnout of travelling fans. But he’s human and passionate and wants it as much as we do. Ill-advised but it showed he cares.

The international break comes at a good time for him and Brentford. Regroup, reconsider the things that truly matter, tweak stuff and most importantly, edge the walking wounded back to fitness.

That injury list is clearly the backdrop to what is happening now, but Thomas has never used it as an excuse. Whether the depth of squad could have been deeper, training different or any other fine margins changed is up for debate. But not now.

At the moment the situation is crystal clear, and it needs to be that way in the heads of us, the fans, as well as the players.

I’ve long said we’ve missed a leader since Pontus left and the lack of talking which almost led to Mark Flekken’s red face moment spotlighted that. As long as we learn from it, the ‘new me’ is happy.

I’ve also been hugely critical of the standard of refereeing in the Premier League with every game now marred by a ridiculous decision or three. The ‘new me’ won’t complain about them any more. (Shit, that’s going to be a tough resolution to keep).

It’s pointless moaning about it – even though our increasingly frustrated players must feel like the hapless PGMOL are against them at every turn – because all that does is create a negative victim mentality.

That then leads to players feeling sorry for themselves. Now, with 27 points to play for, is not the time for that. It’s time we ALL rolled up our sleeves and got back to picking up points.

We’ve seen in the past how going a couple of goals up makes us fearless as confidence returns. In flashes, we’ve seen the football that lit up New Griffin Park in our first two seasons, so the ethos and skill is still there.

We just need to light the blue touchpaper and dissenting voices won’t help with that, however tempting it is to get home and get it out of our systems on social media. I should know. I’m one of the worst for it.

We are all completely welcome to air our opinions, but – and I know this will get shot down in flames – why don’t we try to make a positive change by being positive? Tough, yes, but if I can do it…

One win and the complexion of everything will look completely different and that sunshine will seem even brighter.

No better game to start than against Man United under the floodlights with a partisan, and positive, home support.

We ALL want the same thing and like it or not we are ALL in this together.

Jim Levack