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Mark Warburton: Brentford win sends clear message

3 November 2014

Brentford boss Mark Warburton said his side's last-gasp win over Sky Bet Championship leaders Derby County sent out a "powerful message" to the rest of the division.

The Bees were great value for the 2-1 win over Steve McClaren's side after a storming second-half fightback which earned high praise from the former England boss.

"We started well but after we scored Brentford pushed and pressed us, we lost possession and our composure," McClaren said.

"Credit to Brentford. They never stopped, didn't give up and had an incredible work rate. We've scored a few in the last minute but today we were on the end of it."

An injury-time winner from Stuart Dallas sealed the points for the Londoners, who grew into the game after a shaky first 15 minutes when Derby threatened to run riot.

The Irishman curled home makeshift right-back Moses Odubajo's driven low cross into the top corner in the second minute of injury time.

Andre Gray, a striker in the Conference with Luton last season, gave Mark Warburton's side hope when he levelled three minutes after the break to cancel out Chris Martin's slick near-post finish from a Craig Forsyth cross.

Warburton was delighted with the 23-year-old frontman, whose second-half display epitomised the work rate in the Brentford side.

"He has done exceptionally well for us. His fitness levels are improving and he is learning how to handle the Championship. All he wants to do is score goals so he has a big smile on his face now," he said.

"It's a very good victory for us but it is still three points. I'm just delighted that the boys got the reward for all their hard work, especially after games at Watford and Bournemouth where they didn't."

"We've made out intentions clear on how we want to play from the outset so I'm delighted that this result once again sends out a powerful message in loud voices to the division."

Derby looked like playing Brentford off the park in the opening 15 minutes as Warburton admitted his charges were "off the pace".

Simon Dawkins and Forsyth both went close before Martin broke the deadlock with a clever near-post flick that crept just inside the far upright.

But as the game wore on, Brentford grew in stature and always looked dangerous on the counter, with the pace of Odubajo unsettling the Rams defence.

Gray fired his side level and then hit the post with a header before an 80th-minute flashpoint that added spice to the final minutes.

Chris Martin appeared to lash out at Tony Craig off the ball and was spotted by the linesman, only for the striker to escape with a yellow card.

But Odubajo had the final word, bombing on again down the right and crossing for substitute Dallas to curl into the top left corner.

McClaren said: "It's usually us that scores at the end, so we will have to go away, lick our wounds and see a reaction on Tuesday.

"We started so well and were passing the ball around nicely, but in the second half we wanted to run with it and have too many touches and that allowed Brentford back into the game."

McClaren said the result was proof that the Championship this season is tougher than ever, and added: "You have to be right on it every day and every game and every minute of every game.

"It's been an erratic week for us and if I'm honest we haven't handled being top of the league very well, but that is football."

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