Millwall manager Ian Holloway has backed his former club Brentford to take the Championship by storm – if they maintain their self belief.
Holloway spent a year with the Bees in the mid-1980s during a playing career which also took him to Bristol Rovers and back via Wimbledon and QPR.
He then embarked on a successful managerial career, with Millwall his latest stop, but admits his Lions side were undone by Brentford this afternoon.
The Bees won 3-2 at The New Den to go sixth in the table, and Holloway admits Mark Warburton's side are no longer 'little old Brentford'.
He said: “Fair play to them, I knew how good they were by watching them. He’s (Warburton) about three or four years ahead of me in what he wants to do, and I’m giving the credit to Mark because he must have been doing a job above their last manager, setting things up, and their players know exactly how to close, who to close, when to close.
“They lost their best player in (Jonathan) Douglas, but I knew they were going to pick our pockets. Everybody should start looking at what a fantastic job they’re doing. I’m a little jealous because their players know how to press and when to press. They’ve lost one of their best organisers and they can still do that.
"They’re ahead of us. Well done to them, and they aren’t little Brentford any more. It’s their structure. They’ve invested in the academy and put that way of playing into their players. What their right centre back did, and the centre midfielder – I know that’s a higher level than I’m used to and as high a level as I’ve come up against.
“Their bloke (Warburton) has had five years. He was putting in place this structure before Rosler went. It was a fantastic appointment by their owner. There’s a lot of brains about what Brentford are doing. That’s what I think, and the stats will show you.
"When you look at Watford, they’ve got more expensive players – as it’s good if you can, but you’ve got to have a structure to play to and a way of doing it, and they’re as good as anybody. Their downfall will be whether they believe that.”