Grant Leadbitter was one who, instead of driving forward as he normally would, was happy to knock the ball back to Dimi Konstantopoulos.
And Warburton believes that their decision is a gamble which he, naturally, hopes backfires.
He said: “Anybody would use the right tool to motivate the players squad but they are not fools. If a team wants to play Brentford, then great.
“If they beat Brentford, that is justified. If they don’t, then want goes around comes around. We will see what happens.”
Warburton said: “Our away game was the worst half of football all season. Positives out of the negative – I now refer to that as being ‘Middlesbroughed’.
“Our standards dropped in the second half. We went in 1-0 down and were doing okay but in the second half we did not move the ball and had no intensity or tempo and go beaten by four. It truly could have been six or seven.
“That was our worst half of football all season and if you look at results after that we only lost two out of the next 11.
“We went on a really good run – five wins out of five – and that showed the character of the players. But it showed us that if we are sloppy at this level, such as the fine margins that you get really hurt.
“The home game was a Sky game: we played really well and lost 1-0. One mistake, one penalty and we created chance after chance and did not take them.
“Defensively they are well organised. They have some very good players – Bamford was Championship player of the year – and some huge talent. And they are superbly managed.
“So we are never going to underestimate Middlesbrough or show them a lack of respect. Far from it.
“But I am sure they will be well aware of us as well. They will recognise they were fortunate to get away with a 1-0 at Griffin Park and will show us respect.”