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League One

Clayton Donaldson keen to stay with Brentford

3 May 2014

Brentford boss Mark Warburton has already started work on keeping his promoted side together for next season.

Warburton revealed after his side's 2-0 home win against Stevenage that talks are already underway to keep top scorer Clayton Donaldson at Griffin Park as the Bees begin their first campaign in the second flight since 1992.

The Bees manager, who took over from Uwe Rosler half way through the campaign, also revealed he will hold talks with the London club's owner to seal his long-term future.

Brentford ended their season on a high against already-relegated Stevenage thanks to second-half goals from Stuart Dallas and Alan Judge.

Dallas struck first in the dying minutes, sliding home Nico Yennaris' low right-wing cross after a Marcello Trotta flick to break the visitors' resolute defence.

The winger almost made it two a minute later, but his powerful angled drive deflected off the crossbar to safety.

Brentford gave the scoreline a more realistic look in the 89th minute when Judge skipped on to a Jake Reeves through ball to make it two.

Luke Freeman tested Bees goalkeeper David Button with a stinging drive, while Michael Doughty came closest midway through the second half, but was denied by a full stretch save.

A sell-out Griffin Park crowd also saw club captain Kevin O'Connor make an earlier-than-expected appearance to mark his 500th game for the Bees, coming on to replace Tony Craig after 25 minutes following a clash of heads.

Warburton said: "It's a remarkable achievement in the modern game and a testament to Kevin's professionalism, but people keep talking like he's off to a museum.

"He will be a big part of our plans in the Championship next season and will keep doing what he's done quietly and efficiently for the past 15 years so well."

Warburton added: "His versatility has been a major factor in his long and successful career.

"He's doing his B Licence coaching badges so as well as being a key squad member next season, he'll also be increasingly important for the younger lads coming through."

But Warburton revealed his squad were disappointed to fall short of the 100-point target, adding: "I thought we did well in the second half, but they are still disappointed to only get to 94 points.

"It's been a fantastic season, but this is where the hard work starts, but we have a very strong squad of players who have earned the right to test themselves at a higher level.

"We've already spoken to Clayton. He said he wanted to play in the Championship so I'm delighted he can do that with us. We want him to stay and he's happy to stay."

Warburton's comments were in stark contrast to Stevenage boss Graham Westley, who said: "I haven't enjoyed working with this group because they don't give their heart and soul to the club.

"I have made no secret of the fact that I will get it right and they will have a good team that the supporters will be proud of."

Westley added: "We matched Brentford for 75 minutes and stuck to the game-plan, but it went out the window too easily.

"We will bounce back next season though, make no mistake of that."

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