The Football League Paper - - CHRIS DUNLAVY -

CAP­TAIN Har­lee Dean reck­ons blos­som­ing Brent­ford can chal­lenge for pro­mo­tion next sea­son – if they keep their squad to­gether.

The 25-year-old was in ma­jes­tic form in Tues­day’s im­pres­sive 2-0 win over play-off con­tenders Leeds, shack­ling the divi­sion’s top scorer Chris Wood.

And a stun­ning team per­for­mance by Dean Smith’s free-scor­ing Bees sug­gests they could per­form bet­ter next sea­son than their cur­rent midtable slot this time.

“Can we keep the squad to­gether?” asked Dean. “I think that is al­ways the key ques­tion for us. We’ve had a lot of good play­ers here over the years, and if we’d kept them to­gether where would we be?

“But, if we do keep them, we have a bril­liant squad. We’ve got play­ers all over the pitch that are more than ca­pa­ble of be­ing right up there in this league.

“If we can keep the con­sis­tency, which has been our main down­fall this sea­son, we can go wher­ever we want to go.”

And Dean, who is un­der con­tract for next sea­son, aims to go to the Premier League.

“That’s all I want: to play as high as pos­si­ble and get there and do it for my fam­ily, “he told The FLP. “I’ve just had my son, Har­lee, who’s six months, so that’s the fu­ture now. I’ve got to make it right for him.”

If Dean turns in more im­pres­sive dis­plays like he did against Leeds, then he will surely make it.

He added: “This is prob­a­bly the best sea­son I’ve had and I feel I’m get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter. I’m only 25 so I’ve still got a bit of learn­ing to do, but con­sis­tency-wise and per­for­mance-wise I’m pleased with how the sea­son’s gone. I don’t think there’s any­body I can’t deal with in this league.

“Leeds have got the top scorer in the league and we dealt with him. Over­all, we were the bet­ter team by quite a mar­gin.”


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