Jake Bidwell says Brentford's promotion challenge is 'no fluke'

Jake Bidwell
Bidwell joined Brentford permanently in summer 2013 following two spells on loan at Griffin Park

Left-back Jake Bidwell thinks Brentford can sustain their challenge for promotion from the Championship.

The Bees are fifth in the table, two points behind leaders Bournemouth, as they seek back-to-back promotions.

"We have put ourselves in a great position. We are over halfway now and have proved it is no fluke," the 21-year-old told BBC London 94.9.

"We are there on merit. We must not get ahead of ourselves, keep our feet on the ground and see what happens."

The west London club are in the second tier for the first time since 1992-93, having finished as runners-up to Wolves in League One last season.

Analysis: BBC London 94.9's Brentford reporter Billy Reeves
"Brentford have a settled side, with the first XI the perfect blend of experience, young talent and loanees.
"It is a stable, well-run club and the Championship is wide open this season.
"The Bees are a modern pass-and-move side and are difficult to get the ball off. But if the weather deteriorates, can they play their brand of football on pitches in the mud and not get dragged into scraps?"

Bidwell, who has made over 140 appearances for Brentford, admits he has been surprised by how well they have adapted to life in the Championship under boss Mark Warburton.

"I knew we had a good group but I just didn't know how good it was," he said.

"I thought we would do alright but I think everyone has been surprised at how well we have done. The lads who have come in have all made an impact.

"The manager and his staff will keep reminding us that nothing has been achieved yet.

"We have got good senior professionals who will not let anyone get carried away with themselves."

Brentford, who are aiming to reach the top flight for the first time since 1946-47, welcome fellow promotion contenders Middlesbrough to Griffin Park on Saturday.

The Bees lost the previous meeting 4-0 on Teesside in September, a result which ex-Everton trainee Bidwell says provided a "learning curve" for the Londoners.

"It was quite early on in the season and, coming up from League One, it was a reminder that if we weren't at our best week in, week out, then we would get punished," he said.

"I'd like to think that our performances from then on have shown we learned from that game.

"I think the Middlesbrough game is the only one we can look back on and say we have let ourselves down. We are looking forward to putting that right."

Manchester United's Jack Carey tackles a Brentford player during a match at Griffin Park in April 1947
Brentford were last in the top flight of English football in 1946-47, when Manchester United were among the visitors to Griffin Park