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Journalist, and Beesotted regular, Jim Levack, shares his thoughts post- Reading as well as waging his family home that we’ll stay up!

With almost a quarter of the season gone, the game against Reading offered final, conclusive proof that Brentford have arrived.

Managers tend to take games in batches, with many pointing to the 10-game stage as a good pointer to how their side might fare.

Of course it’s never always that simple, with injuries, luck and of course the spectre of waning confidence that a couple of setbacks can bring.

But this side has shown many facets to its game and its character already this season, which will ensure Bees fans can continue to enjoy Championship football next season.

I’d put my house on it now…. There I’ve said it, even though my Derby supporting wife might not approve.

Look back to the 4-0 reverse at Middlesbrough where an off colour Brentford were taught a great lesson and shown the kind of benchmark that needs to be achieved.

Brentford learned form it and bounced right back. Mark Warburton promised there would be a response and there was. Ask Leeds.

But for me the latest game before the international break, against Reading, epitomised just how far we have come as a club and was, to my mind, the best win of the season.

Warburton insisted we had played better and lost. He was probably right.

In the second half there were sloppy passes aplenty as Reading squeezed the game, pressed up and won far too many second balls for my old heart to take.

Andre Gray, for me the best striker of that ilk that we’ve had since Richard Cadette, simply couldn’t stop wave after wave of Royals attacks in a torrid 25 minute spell, by making the ball stick.

Maybe the defenders simply couldn’t find him. As sides at this level get to know our game, that ball retention issue will need to be addressed.

But, and it’s a big but, Brentford proved against the tactically astute Nigel Adkins that they can repel even the most feisty of Championship strikeforces.

Organisationally they were superb and when it comes to passion and heart there can be few sides in this division with more. Brentford fans don’t mind seeing their side lose as long as they show those two attributes.

A few seasons ago I watched Reading in the Prem, with the giant Pogrebnyak causing havoc. The passing, movement and technical ability was light years ahead of what we were watching prior to Matthew Benham’s intervention.

Now though, I watch the Premiership games and see technical stuff, one touch interplay twinned with intensity and real nous, and genuinely think we’re not now light years away from that level.

For me the wins against Leeds and Brighton fell into the same bracket. Both end to end and open, with Brentford countering quickly to always leave their visitors wondering when and how far to push on.

Reading were different. After their goal – which came direct from yet another refereeing howler when Alan Judge’s kicking leg was clipped just outside the Royals’ box only for play to be waved on – they pinned Brentford back.

The fact is that Brentford defended manfully, drew the sting and then stung back themselves.

Yes, we will play better and lose, but this was a different kind of win born out of dogged determination, bloody mindedness and no little tactical awareness. Because of that it felt more like four points.

More importantly, it showed we are well on the way to being an established and intelligent unit capable of doing well during the different phases of games and adapting as games develop.

Who know, in time we may be one of the bigger clubs who win the favour of the referees’ 50-50s.

Well, we can dream can’t we?

Jim Levack