Brentford making history – and the best could be yet to come
Brentford made more club history on Saturday when the 4-1 win at Middlesbrough stretched their unbeaten run in the Championship to 20 games.
It is the club’s longest-ever sequence without defeat in the league in a single season, eclipsing the 19-game unbeaten run in League One in 2013/14 – a campaign which ended in promotion.
The Bees have won 12 and drawn eight of those matches, scoring 40 goals and conceding 17, and have only failed to score on three occasions in this run.
After hitting 14 of those goals in three matches in the last nine days, they are now the highest scorers in the division. Their 52 goals nine better than the next best total, Bournemouth’s 43.
They boast the Championship’s top scorer in the ever-present Ivan Toney, who has 22 goals, including seven in the past three games.
And Brentford have only lost three of their 27 Championship games – at Birmingham on the opening day of the season, at home to Preston at the start of October, and at Stoke on 24 October.
All this has largely been achieved without two key experienced members of last season’s team: Pontus Jansson and Christian Norgaard, who have each missed a lot of matches because of injury.
It is the second piece of club history the Bees have made this season, following their run to the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup – a competition in which they had never previously passed the fourth round.
Their defeat by Spurs in the last four, and the loss at home to Leicester in the FA Cup fourth round, are the only times they have been beaten in this sequence.
Thomas Frank has constantly said that his focus is always only on the next match. He talks about allowing 24 hours to celebrate a result, before turning the focus on to the following fixture.
And with only three or four days between most matches, it seems to be the right attitude to take.
Another factor Frank has had to deal with is the adjustment to playing in a new stadium – especially one that is devoid of supporters.
The Bees struggled to get into their rhythm at the Brentford Community Stadium in the early part of the season and only won three of their first nine Championship games there, drawing five but only losing one.
Two of those draws were in the only games to which fans were admitted – against Blackburn and Derby in early December.
However, since then, starting with the win over Reading in mid-December, they have now won their last five home league games.
And if Brentford can avoid defeat in the return with the Royals on Wednesday night, then they will go top of the table – and maybe more club history will be beckoning.