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Category: Brentford

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Brentford’s Ollie Watkins: ‘We play some of the best football in the league’ | Ben Fisher

The Bees striker was toiling away in the Conference South only three years ago but he says experiencing life at the sharp end has helped him matureThree years ago Ollie Watkins was on loan at Weston-super-Mare, on the wrong end of a 3-0 defeat away at …

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Ryan Sessegnon is not the only gifted young player in the Championship

The 17-year-old was voted best player, best young player and best apprentice at the EFL awards but he’s just one of many talents excelling in the Championship this seasonBy Martin Laurence for WhoScored, part of the Sport NetworkRyan Sessegnon won’t fo…

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Wolves promoted to Premier League after Fulham are held by Brentford

Wolves are back in the Premier League after a dramatic late equaliser for Brentford in their derby at Fulham secured automatic promotion for Nuno Espírito Santo’s side.The Championship leaders, who play Birmingham on Sunday, knew their return to the to…

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Chris Mepham: ‘It’s surreal that Ryan Giggs wants to have a chat with you’

Four years ago the defender was a Sunday league player. Now he is thriving at Brentford, wanted in the Premier League and set for his Wales debutAs Chris Mepham tells his story in the same west London hotel where Ryan Giggs asked to meet him a couple o…

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The loneliness of the sub goalkeeper

Carlo Nash, who watched two FA Cup finals on the bench, and Richard Lee explain how No 2 keepers deal with not playingBy Chris Evans for The Set Pieces, part of the Sport NetworkIt was an all-too-familiar feeling. Standing on the Wembley turf surrounde…

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Football League: Sunderland suffer at the hands of Brentford

Wolves held by 10-man Preston in ChampionshipLeague One leaders Shrewsbury lose to Rotherham Continue reading…

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Football League: Derby County match 22-year-old record

Derby 11 unbeaten after defeating BrentfordShrewsbury earn late win at Bristol Rovers Continue reading…

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Seven Championship players who should interest Premier League clubs

A few of the Championship’s best players were on show in the FA Cup over the weekend. Here are seven who could step up to the top flight this monthBy Martin Laurence for WhoScored?, part of the Guardian Sport NetworkFootball League clubs enjoyed a good…

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Championship roundup: Nuno delighted as Wolves go 12 points clear

• Championship leaders beat Brentford 3-0 at Molineux• Fulham come from behind to thrash 10-man Ipswich 4-1Nuno Espírito Santo praised Wolverhampton Wanderers’ second-half display after they powered to a 3-0 win against Brentford at Molineux to open up…

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Carabao Cup roundup: Hughes demands better after Stoke lose to Bristol City

• Bournemouth beat visiting Brighton once again
• 10-man Aston Villa lose 2-0 at home to Middlesbrough

Several Premier League sides went out of the Carabao Cup but Stoke City were one of only two to lose to lower league opposition, in the shape of Bristol City.

Stoke were undone at Ashton Gate by two goals in 10 second-half minutes from Famara Diédhiou and Matt Taylor, following Burnley – beaten in a penalty shootout by Leeds – in bowing out in the third round to a Championship side. Mark Hughes had no complaints though. “We were poor and they played very well,” he said. “They will have a good season playing like that, but we have to be much better. I am very disappointed because this is a competition we wanted to do well in. Maybe I got the changes wrong, but I was expecting a lot more from my players. I know we will be better against Chelsea on Saturday, but that isn’t much consolation at the moment.”

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Hire and fire culture does football no favours – just ask my dad | Liam Rosenior

My dad and Frank De Boer had similar experiences at Brentford and Crystal Palace, and a manager transfer window could change the three games from the sack environment that is inhibiting coaches’ development across the board

My dad laughs about it now but having his name against the record for the shortest managerial reign is no joke. I very much doubt Frank De Boer, having been sacked by Crystal Palace after four games in charge, is feeling too jovial either.

For those who don’t remember, Leroy Rosenior was holding his press conference on returning to Torquay United for a second spell while behind the scenes the club had been bought by new owners. He was fired later that day and even now people ask him incredulously: ‘Aren’t you the guy who got a job and the sack on the same day?’ He smiles and nods but I’ve seen the toll it takes when a proud and hard-working football man is humiliated by people who promise you the world and then throw you off the deep end when it suits them.

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Championship round-up: Cardiff City break record with third consecutive win

• Cardiff City win opening three games for first time in their 118-year history
• Wolves beat Hull; Ipswich defeat Millwall; Middlesbrough overcome Burton

Cardiff City created club history as a 2-0 victory over Sheffield United kept them top of the Sky Bet Championship.

The Welsh club had never started a campaign with three league wins in their 118-year history but that odd statistic was consigned to history as Sean Morrison and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing put the gloss on a performance that suggests Cardiff may be credible promotion contenders this season.

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Bubbling under: Football League players who should be on Premier League radars

Fulham’s implausibly talented Ryan Sessegnon, Leeds United’s Charlie Taylor and the League One prodigy Ezri Konsa are among those with top-flight potential

Fulham’s manager, Slavisa Jokanovic, might want to have a word with Ragnar Sigurdsson. Jokanovic has spoken on a number of occasions about his desire to keep his star players after their hugely impressive run to the play-offs, so when Sigurdsson was asked if the implausibly talented youngster Ryan Sessegnon was good enough to play in the Premier League, a polite “no comment” might have been a politically wise response. “One hundred per cent,” the Fulham defender said. “He’s a great talent … he has a very bright future. I’m just surprised he didn’t get any offers during the season. I think he was that good.” Ah. Sigurdsson’s opinion isn’t massively surprising because it’s shared by half of the Premier League, whose scouts have been seemingly tripping over their tongues as they relay tales of his talent to those who make the financial decisions. Sessegnon is only just 17, so the strengths of his game – pace, enormous threat going forwards from left-back, a fizzing shot – are exciting while the weaknesses can be worked upon. Whether that will be at Fulham or in the Premier League, may depend on just how much they want to keep him.

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Blackburn relegated to League One despite win over Brentford

Blackburn Rovers, champions of England in 1995, are now a third-rate club. There was no last-gasp escape from relegation to League One, just as there is no miracle cure to the ills that have afflicted the Lancashire side since they were taken over by an Indian chicken processing corporation, Venky’s, in 2010. They were 14th in the top flight back then, now they are headed for the third tier of English football, a level unknown to them since 1980.

It was fitting, in a way, that their relegation came after an ultimately useless victory, that denouement highlighting the potential that has been wasted at the club. The table says that goal difference did for them in the end, but the main causes were ineptitude away from the pitch, along with negligence and worse.

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Why Brentford ditched their academy in favour of developing Premier League outcasts | Ed Aarons

Championship club’s decision to focus on a reserve side playing top opposition in friendlies is paying dividends under head of football operations Robert Rowan

It is a sunny Tuesday morning in west London and Robert Rowan, Brentford’s head of football operations, is watching Kevin O’Connor putting his B team squad through their paces. “Twenty-five press-ups for the strikers and then we go again,” commands the coach to his group of young players gathered from six European countries.

Almost a year on since the Championship club took the decision to close their youth academy as a response to the restrictions imposed on them by the Premier League’s elite player performance Plan, this is the reality for Brentford. It is a radical three-year strategy designed to establish a way of developing players with the aim of “creating the most effective pathway into the first team of all English clubs”. It has already seen O’Connor’s hotchpotch team of former youth team players and recruits play Manchester United, Liverpool and Bayern Munich sides in friendlies this season, with four players having gone on to make their debut for Dean Smith’s first team.

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Burton’s Ben Turner handed five-match ban for racially abusing Brentford player

• Defender also fined £8,000 after FA commission rules he abused Nico Yennaris
• Burton manager, Nigel Clough, says he is ‘incredibly disappointed’

The Burton defender Ben Turner has been fined and given a five-match suspension after being found guilty of misconduct by the Football Association.

The initial charge related to Albion’s Championship fixture against Brentford at Griffin Park on 10 December, when it was alleged the 28-year-old used abusive and/or insulting words towards Nico Yennaris.

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Football League your thoughts: Brentford bounce back to win thriller with Burton

Defeat leaves Burton fearing the drop but Rotherham are all but down with Wigan set to join them, while Sheffield United are closing on a return to the second tier as Stevenage shake up the League Two promotion race Continue reading…

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Championship round-up: Huddersfield keep up pressure with win over Reading

• Philip Billing puts Terriers four points behind second-placed Brighton
• Sheffield Wednesday stumble to home defeat against Brentford

Huddersfield boosted their hopes of automatic promotion with a late 1-0 win over Reading at the John Smith’s Stadium, moving to within four points of the automatic promotion places. Philip Billing’s goal eight minutes from time earned a sixth consecutive victory for David Wagner’s Terriers, who recovered from a missed first-half penalty by Rajiv van La Parra to put pressure on the leaders, Newcastle, and Brighton. Billing’s volley also meant Jaap Stam’s Royals lost for the first time in seven games, increasing the likelihood that they will have to settle for a play-off place.

Sixth-placed Sheffield Wednesday missed the opportunity to increase their seven-point cushion over Norwich City after a surprise 2-1 defeat at home to Brentford. John Egan’s header gave the visitors the lead and Harley Dean put them two up shortly before half-time. Fernando Forestieri scored from long range in the third minute of second-half stoppage time but a comeback was not forthcoming and Wednesday’s run of four consecutive wins was halted by Dean Smith’s side. The Wednesday manager, Carlos Carvalhal, called the referee Darren Bond “a disaster”. He believed Wednesday should have had a penalty and that Dean’s goal should not have stood, saying: “[Bond] made everybody nervous. He made the fans nervous, he made the players nervous and he made me nervous.”

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The Dozen: the weekend’s best FA Cup photos

Your weekend roundup of the best photography from the FA Cup fourth round

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Branislav Ivanovic proves the unlikely star as Chelsea rout Brentford

Antonio Conte can do no wrong. The Chelsea manager watched his team ease into the fifth round of the FA Cup at the expense of Brentford, who did not turn up until the second half, and the icing on the cake was provided by Branislav Ivanovic – a player he had dropped from the starting line-up.

Conte introduced the Chelsea stalwart, whose future is uncertain, as a 64th-minute substitute and, with his first meaningful involvement, he scored his first goal of the season to make it 3-0. Ivanovic gave the ball to Pedro and rumbled forward in support before getting it back and squeezing a low finish underneath the goalkeeper Daniel Bentley.

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