Brentford boss hails ‘fearless’ players

Brentford boss Mark Warburton insists his “fearless” side have the belief to make it into the Championship play-off final.

The Bees set up a two-legged tie with Middlesbrough by beating Wigan 3-0 on the final day of the regular season and finishing fifth in the table.

And Warburton, who will leave the club in the summer, believes his squad will be brimming with confidence.

He said: “We spoke to the players first day back at pre-season training and said we had no doubt where they could go.

Jota and Andre Gray both scored in Brentford's 3-0 victory
Jota and Andre Gray both scored in Brentford’s 3-0 victory

“Belief is the key thing. I said after Charlton, the first game of the season, that we lacked some belief.

“Then we went to Bournemouth, who we said would be a definite top-six side, and in the last half hour we were excellent. We lost 1-0 but created chance after chance after chance, and that gave them the belief.

“The players are fearless, they tasted success last year and want more of it.

“The season is far from over yet and hopefully there’s three massive games coming up.”

Warburton was also pleased with the way his side coped with a Wigan side playing with freedom following their relegation from the Championship.

He said: “They were a really dangerous opponent.

“Their fate had been decided, they’ve got a talented squad of players trying to impress a new manager and they could take risks.

“In the first 20 minutes, they dictated to us so we had to be brave. Once we pushed them up high, and we got on the ball, we did very well.”

Warburton confirmed loanees Alex Pritchard, Jon Toral and Chris Long would be available for the duration of the play-offs.

Everton striker Long missed the Wigan game with a gash above the knee.

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