Mark Warburton was always one to say that matches in the Championship were invariably closely fought, tightly contested and generally turned on a mistake, a moment of genius or the whim of a referee’s decision.
In other words the result hinged on a hairsbreadth and narrow margins prevailed.
Who can recall the home game against Norwich last season which to a disinterested observer appeared to end in a conclusive and comprehensive three goal victory for the visitors?
Brentford fans knew far better, as a contest totally dominated by the Bees was decided by a series of outstanding saves by the unbeatable John Ruddy, a momentary loss of concentration by James Tarkowski which led to the crucial opening goal and the referee’s incomprehensible decision not to award a seemingly stonewall penalty when Alex Pritchard was clearly sawn off at the knees a few moments later.
Brentford go into tomorrow’s match after a run of three demoralising defeats to Rotherham, Charlton and, most upsettingly, local rivals Queens Park Rangers.
On the face of it, losing to three teams who can hardly be described as Championship powerhouses is worrying and does not bode well for the immediate future.
Confidence both on the pitch and the terraces is quite naturally at a low ebb at tthe moment and the season is now poised on a knife edge.
Will the team belatedly recover its poise and with one bound be free of the looming threat of a relegation dog fight or will we all be in for an exhausting, stressful and nerve shattering last ten games of the season?
A closer examination of the key moments in each of the last three games should provide some crumbs of comfort for supporters whose nails are bitten to the quick, whose nerves are clanging and who are quick now to remonstrate and express disapproval when things go wrong on and off the pitch.
John Swift and Philipp Hofmann both missed glaring chances to equalise late on at Rotherham when scoring seemed by far the easiest option.
Who knows how the home team would have responded to such a mortal blow so soon after they had gone ahead in the match for the second time?
Maybe heads would have gone down and a revitalised and re-energised Brentford team would have gone onto an unlikely victory?
Having recovered from conceding a daft goal within the opening twenty seconds Brentford were dominating proceedings against Charlton and having deservedly equalised were pressing hard for the go ahead goal.
The opportunity came early in the second half when Josh McEachran saw a gap in the leaden footed Charlton defence and his perfectly weighted pass sent Sergi Canos streaking through on goal but unfortunately he pulled his effort narrowly wide and the chance had gone.
A goal then, and the Bees would probably have scored at least once more afterwards and gained a morale boosting victory.
Even at Loftus Road last weekend there was a massive turning point almost immediately after QPR had taken the lead when Ryan Woods pinged a twenty-five yard effort off the post and it bounced out instead of in. An equaliser right before the break would surely have deflated the home team and then, who knows what might have happened?
Narrow margins indeed and maybe it is finally time for the fickle finger of fate to point in our direction and for the ball to start running in our favour after so long a period when we have been totally starved of good fortune?
There has already been some very good news this week which hopefully we can build upon with the long overdue signing of a new loan striker in Uruguayan forward Leandro Rodríguez from Everton.
He is largely untried in this country but comes with a good reputation and a decent goal scoring record for River Plate and at twenty-three he is hopefully mature enough to take this opportunity in his stride and if he is as successful as our previous loanees from Everton we will have nothing to complain about.
Scott Hogan also came through another Development Squad outing on Monday and clearly demonstrated his disappointment when taken off near the end. Perhaps a good sign and maybe he will be considered fit enough to take his place on the bench tomorrow?
Given the lack of bite and incision this year from any of our three strikers and their overall impotence, the arrival of Rodríguez and the possible presence of Hogan will give us a huge boost as we face a massive and tough tackling Blackburn defence which takes no prisoners, as Marco Djuricin can surely attest given the serious injury he suffered after a horror-show challenge in the first meeting between the two teams.
Encouragingly, Max Colin is also back in training and contention for selection and will hopefully come through the match without breaking down as his steadiness and attacking forays have been sorely missed and his return will provide us with an additional potent weapon in our armoury.
Alan Judge will certainly return to his best position behind the striker after last week’s failed experiment at Loftus Road and he will want to impress against his former team as well as try to catch the eye of the Eire team management, given that he hopes to make his full international debut in the next couple of weeks.
News also broke yesterday of a players-only behind closed doors meeting which was held earlier this week when some home truths were undoubtedly spoken and individuals reminded of their respective responsibilities and how much is currently at stake.
A similar such inquest after the Stevenage debacle in 2013 had a massively beneficial effect as the Bees immediately went on a long and uninterrupted run of victories.
Would that there is an identical reaction starting tomorrow afternoon!
Our recent record against our visitors is excellent with two wins and a draw in our last three meetings.
We scored six times in our two encounters last season, marked by Jota’s magnificent solo effort at Ewood Park and given that our goals were scored by Jota twice, Gray twice, Douglas and Long someone else will need to step up to the plate tomorrow.
It doesn’t necessarily take much to change a seemingly never ending run of poor results and performances and tomorrow would certainly be a perfect time for the Gods to smile down upon us.
All we can do as fans is unite as one and provide loud and unconditional support throughout the entire game.
Beyond that matters are totally out of our hands, but let’s keep our fingers crossed!