BEES FOLLOWING BURNLEY’S LEAD
BRENTFORD boss Mark Warburton says his highflying Bees can follow Burnley’s lead all the way to the Premier League.
The unfancied Londoners are up to third and remain just two points off the top of the Championship after this win in Wales at Cardiff.
And Warburton is convinced his young side can continue to upset the odds, pointing to Burnley’s example from last season as evidence that the division’s smaller sides can dream of promotion.
“I think the team deserve to be there,” said Warburton. “But our biggest weapon is that people don’t expect anything from us.
“We looked at Burnley last year. They had one of the smallest budgets in the league but they did a magnificent job.
“Everybody kept saying that they worked hard and were committed but nobody spoke about their quality.
“Everyone says the same about us and that’s great. We’ll just go about our business quietly and come May I think we’ll be in good shape.”
The visitors raced into a 3-0 lead after just 33 minutes at the Cardiff City Stadium as the Bluebirds failed to deal with the livewire trio of Alex Pritchard, Andre Gray and Jota.
Pritchard, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, opened the scoring on 11 minutes as he fired confidently into the bottom corner of the net after Ben Turner, Bruno Manga and Peter Whittingham had all failed to clear the danger.
And the England under-21 midfielder made the second with a defence-splitting pass that was expertly lifted over David Marshall by Gray.
The third was a stunning individual goal from Jota as he took aim from the corner of the box and curled the ball into the far corner, giving Marshall no chance.
That provoked a chorus of boos from the frustrated home fans, who had seen their side create precious little in the opening stages.
Adam Le Fondre saw one close-range effort deflected wide and Federico Macheda headed over from eight yards out but Spanish star Jota was denied twice more by Marshall at the other end.
Things could only get better for the hosts after the break and they quickly did as Craig Noone headed home a cross from impressive youngster Kadeem Harris.
Their tails up, Russell Slade’s men poured forward and when substitute Kenwyne Jones slotted in a second with 15 minutes remaining the home fans sensed their side could rescue a point.
But Brentford held on comfortably enough for a win that their first-half dominance deserved.
“The first half we were very good and we have to learn from the second half,” added Warburton.
“We knew the onslaught would come and it was a real test but we stood up to it and the win was deserved.”
Slade sympathised with the home fans who vented their frustrations despite a spirited second-half showing.
“I can only apologise for the first half. I’m as frustrated as they are,” said the Bluebirds boss.
“That lack of consistency at the moment is annoying because we gave ourselves a mountain to climb.We need to care for 90 minutes.
“The second 45 is great but we were 3-0 down at half-time.
“We can’t just do it for half an hour or 45 minutes.We didn’t look like a unit in the first period.
“There’s two ways you can go at half-time and we fought hard after the break.
“But for all the spirit we showed this week and at Bournemouth last week we’ve picked up zero points and that’s what counts at the end.
“As we attempt to progress there will be sideways steps along the journey.”
GRAY DAY: Brentford striker Andre Gray puts the Bees 2-0 ahead
ALL IN: Jota celebrates his goal