MARK CALLS

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By An­drew Brook

AT THE SEA­SON’S start sur­vival was Brent­ford’s aim. Now Mark War­bur­ton must con­tend with the dis­ap­point­ment that would greet his side slip­ping out of the top six.

The Bees did not have to be at their best to dis­patch fel­low top-ten dwellers Black­burn, as clin­i­cal fin­ish­ing early in each half proved suf­fi­cient.

And War­bur­ton ad­mit­ted af­ter­wards that the Bees are keep­ing their feet on the ground de­spite their strong start.

“At the start of the sea­son all the talk for ev­ery­one was about sur­viv­ing. Now they’re sud­denly say­ing that any­thing less than a play-off place is a bad sea­son.This is a tough league and we’ve got to re­spect that,” he said.

“If we en­ter the lo­cal county cup with the un­der-nines or we’re in the Premier League, our aim is to go and win it. It has to be, oth­er­wise don’t play foot­ball.

“We’ll go as hard as we can for as long as we can and see where it takes us. Right now we’re in good shape and there’s a lot more to come from this group of play­ers.

“I don’t think it’s as gru­elling a Christ­mas pe­riod as we’ve had in the past, so hope­fully we’re pre­pared.

“Ev­ery player should at­tract at­ten­tion in Jan­uary, but ev­ery player who leaves here does so on our terms. Ev­ery­one’s got a price and we’ll re­place them with good play­ers, but right now this is a good place to be.”

Brent­ford, as mod­ern con­ven­tion dic­tates, aligned 4-2-3-1 on pa­per, but at times both full-backs, Jonathan Dou­glas and the at­tack­ing­mid­field three all ram­paged be­hind An­dre Gray.

The open­ing goal came from this area, as Moses Odubajo crossed through the box to fel­low full-back Jake Bid­well. Bid­well drilled a shot goal­wards and Dou­glas di­verted it in.

The at­tack­ing-mid­field trio – Jota, Alan Judge and Alex Pritchard – ro­tated po­si­tions con­stantly, fre­quently over­load­ing the same full-back and Black­burn could never cope.

But after Pritchard came close to adding a sec­ond on 33 min­utes Rovers be­gan to play.

Har­lee Dean twice in­ter­vened vi­tally; first to take the ball off Rudy

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