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Match Previews

Sky Bet Championship team preview: Brentford

26 June 2015

The latest installment in the club's series of previews ahead of the new campaign

BRENTFORD
Home ground: Griffin Park
Capacity: 12,763
Head coach: Marinus Dijkhuizen
2014/15 league position: 5th
2014/15 top goalscorer: Andre Gray (18 in all competitions)

Having ended the season with play-off heartbreak with a two-legged semi-final defeat at the hands of Middlesbrough, the 2015/16 season provides Brentford with the opportunity to bounce back quickly as they bid to earn promotion to the Premier League at the second time of asking.

Only entering the second tier at the beginning of last season after winning promotion as runners-up of League One in 2013/14, the Bees began the campaign with three wins from their first six games, but it wasn’t until November that they well and truly found their stride.

Winning five consecutive games throughout the month, Mark Warburton’s side continued in a similar vein throughout the remainder of the season with the Griffin Park outfit eventually finishing fifth in the table with a 3-0 final day victory over already relegated Wigan Athletic.

Sadly for Brentford however, their dream of back-to-back promotions was quashed over two legs against Aitor Karanka’s Middlesbrough side, with the Teessiders running out 5-1 winners on aggregate. 

The conclusion of the campaign also saw the departure of Mark Warburton as manager of the club, with the former Boreham Wood man leaving his post after just 18 months in charge, being replaced by Marinus Dijkhuizen.

There has already been change rife at the London-based club in the close season, with Tommy Smith and Nick Proschwitz both departing the club following the expiration of their contracts while four players on loan with the Bees last term in Betinho, Chris Long, Alex Pritchard and Jon Toral have all returned to their parent clubs.

With expectations seemingly high of Brentford ahead of the new campaign, Dijkhuizen’s side will kick-off against Ipswich Town on August 8 hoping for no lasting after-effects of an ultimately disappointing end to the season.

MEDIA VIEW
Tom Moore, Sports Writer for Get West London offers his thoughts on the Bees’ prospects during the upcoming campaign.

“Owner Matthew Benham has completely overhauled the way in which Brentford operate as a club with a new coaching structure in place making the new season a step into the unknown.

“Mark Warburton opted not to be a part of the Bees going forward, despite guiding them to fifth place last season, and left at the end of May, subsequently joining Glasgow Rangers.

“In his place, Benham has installed two directors of football; Rasmus Ankersen and Phil Giles, and the club are taking a more statistical approach to recruitment which has been compared to the 'Moneyball' approach taken by baseball's Oakland Athletics.

“Marinus Dijkhuizen has taken over as head coach after a successful spell in charge of Excelsior, while Flemming Pedersen has come in as director of football philosophy and player development.

“Benham, though, retains the backing of the supporters who know that, without him, Brentford would not be a Championship club and, crucially, the owner is a lifelong fan.

“Under his leadership, Brentford have made progression in each season but, with such a radical overhaul, there is a possibility of teething problems at the start as everything settles down.

“If the Bees can find a replacement for Alex Pritchard, who returned to Tottenham Hotspur after a successful loan sell, and add more strength in depth, while keeping hold of their better players, then there is no reason why they can't challenge for the title.”

FIXTURES V BOLTON IN 2015/16 

Saturday 28 November 2015 – 3pm kick-off at Macron Stadium

Tuesday 5 April 2016 – 7.45pm kick-off at Griffin Park

RESULTS V BOLTON IN 2014/15 

Bolton Wanderers 3-1 Brentford – 25/10/2014 (CLICK HERE for highlights)

Brentford 2-2 Bolton Wanderers – 18/4/2015 (CLICK HERE for highlights)

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