Brentford contributor Jim Levack feels the Swansea result is one not to dwell on as the long-term outlook is good for The Bees
Two games, two points. Watford and Swansea. But that doesn’t really tell the full story.
We went away to clubs touted as promotion contenders and completely dominated them, oozing the swagger but not arrogance of a Champions League club visiting minnows in the first round.
That we didn’t leave with six points is down to fine margins – luck, poor officiating and yes maybe a little lack of cutting edge – but the prognosis is good.
Look at the Championship table. There are no clubs there that should worry us, as long as we retain the humility, togetherness and work rate that are cornerstones of this campaign.
As well as increased resilience, there’s also a calmness and maturity to the way we play now that wasn’t there last season. An assured confidence but never hubris that if we keep doing what we do, all will be well.
Injustice in football is the worst feeling because it all seems so unfair. Bidwell’s elbow, Ayew’s comical slithering eel routine and Fulton’s repeated attempts to take a chunk of Josh all clouded the outcome.
But strip away the scoreline, the manner of the draw and Steve Cooper’s myopic response which will surely have fooled not even the most diehard Jack, and it was bloody magnificent.
We looked far and away the better side, outmanoeuvred them, outmuscled them, outthought them but couldn’t outscore them… and there’s the rub.
I’ll leave recruitment to the people who know best, but a winger with speed to burn would have surely tipped the balance our way, forced the ref into a couple more reds (hmmm) and given Ivan that little bit more freedom to do his thing.
That’s what was so frustrating about both the Watford and Swansea games. They were ‘so near but yet so far’ affairs that left you feeling like you’d lost. Red wine helps.
But as Thomas Frank reminds us, if you can’t win then don’t lose, especially away at two clubs that were only recently in the Premier League.
We were superb at Swansea but Wycombe will be a big test and never before has the cliché ‘there are no easy games in the Championship’ be more apt.
For me that will be the acid test of our stickability, that enduring ability to dig out results just as – and it pains me to say this – Swansea did.
They are this season’s Cardiff from a couple of years ago so there must be something in the air down there. They sit deep, invite you on and hit you like they did at Barnsley recently. It’s dull but effective.
We’re not as flamboyant as we were and I like that, but perhaps now is the time to add a little more flair and unpredictability to the group.
If we don’t, I still think we’ll be top two. I’d just like to take out a bit of insurance.