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League One

Battle for Brentford shirts warns Mark Warburton

29 January 2014

Brentford boss Mark Warburton has warned his sidelined stars they will have to fight for their shirts after seeing his side cruise to a 3-1 win over Bristol City.

The Bees were again without three first-team regulars, but rarely looked troubled by the Sky Bet League 1 strugglers as they made it 10 homes wins on the trot, their best sequence since 1936.

Goals from Alan Judge and Marcello Trotta added to an early Aden Flint own goal before the break as the Londoners took control of a one-sided affair.

Promotion rivals Leyton Orient and Wolverhampton Wanderers also won, but Warburton said: "I'm not being disrespectful to them, but we're not really bothered about what they do. Our focus is always on the next game.

"We have players who have slotted in and done really well and as I've said it's a squad game.

"Players like Harlee Dean will have to fight for their shirt back and if he gets it back, he will have Kevin O'Connor trying to take it off him."

Warburton added: "The energy levels were good in difficult conditions and I was pleased with the way we managed the game after the break when Bristol went long."

Robins defender Flint gave the hosts the perfect start inside 10 minutes when he bundled Jake Bidwell's left-wing cross into his own net.

"That rocked us on our heels," said City boss Steve Cotterill. "I was very disappointed to give them a goal against the run of play.

"We seem to have an unhappy knack of giving sides a goal start and then having to fight our way back into the game, but when you give away another two soft goals it makes it a mountain to climb against such a good side."

Cotterill dismissed the second half, during which Brentford rarely moved through the gears, as a "nonentity" and admitted Brentford were good value for the points.

"They are in the habit of winning and we have been used to losing. It's a habit we need to get out of by being mentally stronger," Cotterill added.

Former Brentford defender Karleigh Osborne gave Cotterill a glimmer of hope two minutes after the opener, firing across Bees goalkeeper David Button into the far corner before immediately limping off with a hamstring injury.

Tyrone Barnett should have given the visitors the lead minutes later, but volleyed wide from close range with the goal at his mercy.

On-loan Blackburn Rovers midfielder Alan Judge made City pay midway through the first half when his blistering drive from 12 yards after a slick counter attack was too hot for goalkeeper Elliot Parish to handle.

Marcello Trotta made it three just before the break, sweeping home Judge's low cross before the home side shut up shop after the break, the only noteworthy chance falling to Barnett, whose rising drive flew over.


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