Skipper John Egan believes he and Andreas Bjelland are finally building a stable partnership at the back for Brentford.

The centre back positions have been anything but settled this season, with Egan, Bjelland, Yoann Barbet, Chris Mepham and Harlee Dean all playing there as manager Dean Smith searches for his best pairing.

But the Bees boss seems to have settled on Egan and Bjelland for now, with the duo having started Brentford's last four games together, despite the strong showing from Barbet and Mepham at Middlesbrough.

“We've had a run of games now, and you need a run of games for people to gel,” said Egan. “We've got the shirts for now, but it's up to us to make sure we keep them as the other two have not put a foot wrong.

“The whole team from the front to back have been up to the challenge though. The whole squad is on it in training every day – there's some real healthy competition alongside a willingness to fight for each other.”

Unfortunately, Egan and Bjelland won't be going head to head in the World Cup play-offs as although the Dane made the Denmark squad for their KO clash against the Republic of Ireland, Egan was left out of the Irish one.

“I'm not actually in the squad, but there's been plenty of banter flying around,” he said. “Both teams obviously really want to win, so there'll be plenty more words said over the coming weeks.”

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Fellow Bee Henrik Dalsgaard was also named in the Denmark squad but could face a race against time to be fit after hobbling off injured during last night's 2-0 win at Birmingham City.

“Henrik's been outstanding since he came in, very aggressive,” said Egan. “He's been a big player for us and obviously we all hope he's okay soon.”

On the other flank, Josh Clark continued to shine at left back in Rico Henry's absence and had former Bees favourite Jota in his pocket at St Andrews – so much so that the Spaniard was hooked in the second half.

“Clarkey's been top drawer any game he's played, whether at left back, right back or on the wing,” said Egan. “I rate him highly as he's come in at left back on his wrong side and he's been absolutely fantastic, and hopefully he can keep that form going.”

The win at Birmingham was Egan and Bjelland's latest game together, and the captain believes his side performed superbly to not only keep Jota quiet, but most of his Birmingham team-mates too.

“They've got a lot of good players so you can't focus on just one man,” he added. “We came with a plan to beat them as a team, and I think we carried it out.

“The lads stuck to their task really well. We done the ugly stuff as well, as coming to a place like this you have to do that. We stuck to the challenge and took our chances in the second half, and coming away with the three points was very pleasing.”

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