Well that was an interesting month for Brentford!
Seven games, some spectacular victories, a couple of horrendous defeats, the revitalisation of one key player and the departure of another were all packed into a period of 31 days in which Bees fans experienced a full range of emotions.
The highs came at the end of the month with superb away wins at Preston and MK Dons.
“Morrison’s arrival as Alexander’s replacement for the rest of the season has seen the club’s mini-revival start and that must be more than just coincidence.”
The latest triumph at stadium:mk, where Brentford have never lost in five visits, was particularly impressive as it was their first defeat of a team in the top five all season and was earned with two good goals and some resolute defending, especially under a late onslaught.
The first of those strikes came from Clayton Donaldson, who before the start of the month had followed last season’s 29 goals with just five this time around.
Despite his lack of goals he has more than contributed to the team with his workrate, ability to bring others into play and the goals he has created.
It was for those reasons that Uwe Rosler had kept faith in the 28-year-old and the manager was rewarded when the scoring drought was ended in style.
The relief coursing round Griffin Park when Donaldson headed the second goal against Rochdale, his first for 12 matches, was felt by everyone and the striker’s confidence grew immediately.
Three nights later he scored twice in a game for the first time for the Bees in the win at Deepdale and completed a profitable week with the opener against the Dons.
His second goal against Preston was a penalty and announced Donaldson as the new first choice spot-kick taker after the departure of Gary Alexander.
Rosler was shocked and seemingly upset by the manner of Alexander’s pre-deadline move to Crawley Town ahead of arguably Brentford’s biggest game of the season, against Sheffield United.
Brentford were outplayed that day, although both goals in the 2-0 defeat came from mistakes.
And the apparent hangover from Alexander’s exit continued in the next two matches when the team were very poor and failed to score in defeats at Leyton Orient and Bournemouth.
There was also dissension in the ranks with on-loan West Brom striker Saido Berahino being dropped at Dean Court after a rant on Twitter following his half-time substitution at Orient.
However, the win over a poor Rochdale side stopped the rot and set up the first two away successes since November.
That match also marked the debut as a substitute of the latest loan signing – the vastly-experienced Republic of Ireland international striker Clinton Morrison from Sheffield Wednesday.
Although he has only appeared off the bench in two of his three games at the club so far, his arrival as Alexander’s replacement for the rest of the season has seen the club’s mini-revival start and that must be more than just coincidence.
Morrison’s knowledge of the game could well be one of the reasons why Donaldson has embarked on his scoring run and he was a great acquisition by Rosler.
So what now?
Brentford are in great form, have seven games left, and sit eight points outside the play-off places.
While securing a spot in the top six seems a tall order, even if they win all their remaining games, the confidence gained for next season from continuing this run until the end of the campaign will be crucial for the chances of promotion next time around.
If the Bees are now building for the 2012/13 campaign, the other question being raised by some fans is whether the loan players, most of whom are unlikely to be at Griffin Park next season, should lose their places to allow Rosler to start consolidating his future line-up now.
Niall McGinn, Jake Bidwell, Harlee Dean, Adam Thompson and Berahino have all played their part and while some of them may return, should Rosler for now say thanks but field an XI made up of just players permanently on the books?
One person the Bees manager has said he wants next term is Everton midfielder Adam Forshaw, whose season was suddenly cut short when he suffered a broken jaw against Rochdale.
You wonder whether, if the likes of his Toffees colleague Bidwell or Berahino are not going to get their chance in the Premier League next term, they will also have a chance of coming back.
Rosler has a lot of decisions to make over players in the summer with the likes of Karleigh Osborne and Marcus Bean out of contract.
As ever, an interesting few months lie ahead for Brentford fans.
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