Brent­ford boss eyes au­to­matic pro­mo­tion

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Gre­gor Vas­con­ce­los

MARK WAR­BUR­TON has urged Brent­ford to make a push for au­to­matic pro­mo­tion af­ter see­ing fee­ble Ful­ham crum­ble at Craven Cottage on Good Fri­day.

There were pan­icky mo­ments for Brent­ford, par­tic­u­larly when Ross McCor­mack’s sec­ond-half penalty gave Ful­ham life af­ter they had fallen be­hind to a Stu­art Dal­las dou­ble.

And it was only in in­jury time that Alan Judge and Jota sealed the win for the vis­i­tors.

But with just six games to go War­bur­ton in­sists his side should not give up hope of reach­ing the top two af­ter hand­ing out a harsh les­son to their lowly neigh­bours.

“There are 18 points left to play for now and we’re look­ing and think­ing where would 87 points take you now? If no team puts a run to­gether, 85 points might be enough for the top two,” said the Bees boss.

“Even if they do, due to the na­ture of this di­vi­sion and the fix­tures com­ing up, it means that other teams will have to drop points, so if we were to win our re­main­ing games, we’d go up.

“How­ever, the way the Cham­pi­onship has been this sea­son, we could also lose all six games, so we have to be wary of that.

“We have to fo­cus solely on Brent­ford, there’s no point in think­ing about what’s hap­pen­ing around you. The play­ers have six games to do them­selves jus­tice, be­cause they de­serve to be where they are.”

Alexander Ka­caniklic had the first chance of the game, turn­ing both Moses Odubajo and Har­lee Dean, but his ef­fort from a nar­row an­gle was saved su­perbly by David But­ton.

Brent­ford only mus­tered their first shot on tar­get in the 20th minute when Dal­las’s rasp­ing drive from the edge of the box was well saved by Mar­cus Bet­tinelli.

Four min­utes later, Dal­las picked the ball up from the ex­act same po­si­tion and hit a sim­i­lar drive. This time, Bet­tinelli was stranded as the ball drifted into his bot­tom left-hand cor­ner.

Ful­ham re­sponded well, but Seko Fo­fana was de­nied a 38thminute equaliser by Dean’s goal-line clear­ance. Just be­fore the hour, Dal­las let fly from the same po­si­tion he scored his first goal and the ball flew into the net once more.

An­dre Gray then missed an open goal that would have put the game to bed and Ful­ham re­sponded im­me­di­ately. McCor­mack send­ing But­ton the wrong way from the spot af­ter James Hus­band was fouled in the box.

Ful­ham probed, but failed to find a lev­eller de­spite the chances cre­ated, much to the an­noy­ance of boss Kit Sy­mons who keeps see­ing his side make the same mis­takes.

“It’s a bit of a re­cur­ring theme that’s be­come a lit­tle frus­trat­ing. We’re play­ing the foot­ball, cre­at­ing the chances, but then not mak­ing it count,” he said.

“At the end of the game, 4-1 looks like a ham­mer­ing, but the fact is that it wasn’t. I thought the boys put in a great shift, but we let our­selves down by not tak­ing the chances we cre­ated.”

He cer­tainly had a point, as Brent­ford were un­der pres­sure be­fore be­ing res­cued by two sec­ond-half stop­page time goals.

First, it was Judge’s stunning free-kick, then Jota’s sweet­lystruck vol­ley that made the 6,000 trav­el­ling fans chant: “We are go­ing up!” in uni­son.

Ful­ham, mean­while, were booed off and the de­feat means they have been dragged back into a fight for their sur­vival.

“We just lost our lo­cal derby and peo­ple were frus­trated, es­pe­cially given the sit­u­a­tion we were in. It’s part of foot­ball, we un­der­stand that,” Sy­mons added.

“We’re not out of it, with Mill­wall win­ning it’s still open and we know we have to go and do the job our­selves.”

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

FOUR­SOME: Brent­ford’s Jota cel­e­brates his late strike that capped a con­vinc­ing win

OFF THE MARK: Stu­art Dal­las gets the ball rolling with Brent­ford’s first goal

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