By Tony Leighton
A calculated psychological gamble paid off for Brentford manager Uwe Rosler as a 2-0 win at Crewe Alexandra put automatic promotion back in his team's hands.
The Bees had taken just one point from their previous four away matches to damage their chances of a top-two finish in npower League 1.
So victory at Gresty Road was essential, thought Rosler, for a young Brentford team whose away record was the worst of all the promotion contenders.
And the Bees boss admitted to football-league.co.uk: "I wouldn't normally put too much pressure on a young side because that can be counter-productive.
"We just take things game after game, but I decided to highlight Crewe as a must-win match for us to go for automatic promotion.
"I just wanted to motivate and to highlight what we have to do to win games, and I have seldom seen such concentration in the build-up or on the field."
Rosler's motivation resulted in one of Brentford's best displays of the season, capped by superb goals from Bradley Wright-Phillips and Marcello Trotta.
"It was a massive improvement," said Rosler, "because young players can tend to forget things, to get in the wrong areas and do the wrong things.
"But the players performed heroically - throughout the whole 90 minutes we were very professional and we fully deserved the three points."
Victory lifted the Bees up to third in the table, two points below second-placed Bournemouth but with a game in hand and four matches remaining.
Promotion rivals Sheffield United and Doncaster Rovers are among the run-in opponents, but first Rosler's men entertain Portsmouth on Saturday.
The Bees supporters at a packed Griffin Park will be hoping for a fifth successive home win, but it could be a tricky fixture despite Pompey's lowly position.
The third-bottom team will doubtless be rejuvenated after news that the Pompey Supporters Trust have been given the go-ahead to take over the troubled club.
But that is of no concern to Rosler: "Our challenge," he said, "is that we have only two days to recover and prepare while Portsmouth have had a whole week.
"They are fighting for their lives, but we are fighting for our lives too, and we need our supporters to push us forward to victory."
Victory would keep the Bees on track for automatic promotion and Rosler added: "We've put ourselves in a position to really have a go for it."
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