Brentford head coach Thomas Frank hailed his injury-plagued squad’s strength in depth after watching them move into the automatic play-off spots.
The Bees beat Bristol City 3-2 without four regulars in Pontus Jansson, Christian Norgaard, Bryan Mbeumo and Josh Dasilva, but the Dane believes his squad’s togetherness is key to their 19-game unbeaten run.
“We know on our day we play decent football but we now have the foundations of every top team – a top attitude. We are confident but humble because we know there is a big task ahead of us,” he said.
“We were missing key players but Sergi Canos, Tariqe Fosu and Saman Ghoddos all stepped up. We run, fight and play for each other and that leads to a good performance every single time. Then it’s down to the fine margins.”
He added: “We are always together and we have desire and that’s important in a league that is relentless. We look only to the next game against Middlesbrough who have a way of playing that makes it difficult for you.”
Frank is hopeful both French Under-21 winger Mbeumo and England Under-21 international Dasilva will be available for the trip to the Riverside.
And he believes the Bees will need all the resilience they showed to come back from an early goal against City, in the north east: “It was a top response. It was more or less written in the stars after City lost and we won 7-2 and could go second if we won that that would happen.
“We didn’t have enough control of the game in the first half but after the break for 25 minutes we looked absolutely amazing.”
Bristol City boss Dean Holden wants his Robins side to kick on for the rest of the season and cement their play-off push.
“We have a massive three months ahead and we are within touching distance of the top six. We are not miles behind and I’m proud of the way we have stuck at it this season,” he said.
“We thrive on adversity. We have come here and lost to the better team tonight but I was proud of the performance against one of the best sides in the division.”
Holden was pleased with his injury-hit side’s response after their 1-0 defeat at Derby, and added: “We had a really good start with an excellent goal, had a good shape and won the ball back time and time again in the first half.
“But those fine margins didn’t go our way to get that second goal. We looked comfortable at half time and were looking to continue that, and then we got cut open.
“I was disappointed with the way the second half panned out but it was much improved from Saturday and against a lot of other teams we’d have got something.
“We now have a Severn-side derby against Cardiff to look forward to and will be looking to build on tonight to do the double over them.”