BEES IN NEED OF A HELPING HAND
BRENTFORD boss Mark Warburton is desperate to leave the Bees with a promotion legacy but knows he needs a favour or two after his side kept their play-off hopes alive with a comfortable win at Reading.
Goals from Alan Judge and James Tarkowski sealed the points and ensure Brentford go into their final game against Wigan at Griffin Park with a puncher’s chance but they need help from Blackburn – who host Ipswich – and Reading, who travel to Derby, to prolong Warburton’s reign at least into the play-offs.
Brentford have decided to part company with Warburton at the end of the season but he said: “It’s disappointing to know the next game could be my last in charge but it is what it is.
“It has to be our aim to try and win promotion and that would be a great legacy to leave such a great club.”
Warburton allowed himself to indulge in some mind games to urge Blackburn and Reading to upset the apple cart in what look like meaningless fixtures for them and provide the shock result his side needs.
The Bees’ boss said: “I’m not having it that there’s nothing for some teams to play for.
“People talk about games being meaningless for some teams but we are talking about professionals and players are fighting for contracts and their futures, and Blackburn will want a strong finish to their season in front of their own fans.”
Brentford were given a flying start to their quest to keep the pressure on Ipswich and Derby when Judge fired them ahead on seven minutes.
Andre Gray displayed the pace and power that made him a menace all afternoon by forcing his way down the inside right channel and holding the ball up until Judge arrived on the scene to play in a low cross which the midfielder turned in from six yards.
Reading had chances to get back into the game quickly but Garath McCleary blasted over from 14 yards when well-placed and Jamie Mackie slashed a hasty effort wide after being played in by Danny Williams. Brentford, driven on by the impressive Tottenham loanee Alex Pritchard from midfield always threatened to take the game away from a lacklustre Reading with Gray bursting clean through on goal, only to be denied by Adam Federici’s legs.
The Bees sealed the points 20 minutes into the second half when a Reading defender cynically hauled back Bees winger Jota.
Obita was booked and doubly punished as Judge whipped in a free-kick which defender Tarkowski met with a well-placed header.
Brentford’s goal difference might have been further improved when Jon Toral struck the post with a fierce shot ten minutes from time.
Warburton said: “The players were aware of the significance of the situation and to come here and win like that was a great performance.
“It’s tight and it’s tough and it might come down to one or two goals.”
Reading’s best chance to getback into the game fell to Hal Robson-Kanu, only for Bees keeper David Button to pull off a point-blank save and the lines- man’s flag ruled Nathaniel Chalobah offside as he stuck the loose ball home.
Reading boss Steve Clarke moaned: "We look a good team until we get to the final third of the pitch and that’s what’s killing us.
"We also conceded two really soft goals. We allowed them to cross the ball into our box for the first goal, but they never allowed us to do that. And we then allowed a team who are quite capable of scoring against us in open play a gift from a set piece.
"I think I’m pleased the next two games are away from home presently.”
DREAM STILL ALIVE: Brentford’s James Tarkowski clinches victory for the Bees
LET’S HUG: James Tarkowski and Jake Bidwell embrace