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Brentford striker Clayton Donaldson ready to shoot the Bees to the summit

24 January 2014

By Tony Leighton

In-form striker Clayton Donaldson is aiming to shoot Brentford back to the top of Sky Bet League 1 when Gillingham visit Griffin Park on Friday evening.

Victory over the Gills in the live TV game would send the Bees two points clear of current leaders Leyton Orient and seven points ahead of the chasing pack.

And that, says Donaldson, would be a timely boost as the race for automatic promotion begins to hot up with the season approaching its final third.

The 14-goal man, who has hit the net four times in his last five appearances, told football-league.co.uk: "Beating Gillingham and opening up a points gap would put pressure on the teams competing with us for promotion.

"That will certainly be the aim, and with the TV cameras at Griffin Park we can hopefully put on a show. But it's not going to be easy against a strong side.

"Gillingham have improved since Peter Taylor took over as manager and they've had some very good results of late to move well clear of the relegation zone.

"But we're on a great run ourselves and we want to keep that going right to the end of the season to finish with automatic promotion."

Brentford are indeed on a great run. They are unbeaten in 15 League 1 games, 13 of them ending in victory, to help produce a points haul of 41 from a possible 45.

What's more, they have kept on churning out excellent results despite losing manager Uwe Rosler to Championship club Wigan Athletic in mid-December.

Mark Warburton, previously the Bees' Sporting Director, took over from Rosler and of his seven games to date six have been won and the other one drawn.

Donaldson said: "It was good that Mark Warburton was made manager. If anybody had come in from the outside he might have chopped and changed things around, but the new boss has just kept things the same.

"He's put his little spin on it and that's worked well, but he knew everything was working fine and so there was no real point in making big changes."

The Bees have set themselves up to go one better than last season and clinch automatic promotion, which they came within a whisker of achieving in May before having to settle for the Play-Offs and then lose the final to Yeovil Town.

"What happened last season is in the back of everyone's mind and the memory of it is what's driving us on now," said 29-year-old striker Donaldson.

"We don't want that to happen again and a top two finish is definitely our aim," added the former York City and Crewe Alexandra player.

"We've got 20 games left to play, and if we can keep the unbeaten run going to the end of the season I'm sure that will get us into to the Championship."

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