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Bolton Wanderers v Brentford: Away Fan Q&A

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I spoke to Brentford fan Billy Grant ahead of this weekend's game - read on to see what he had to say....

Jordan Mansfield

This weekend sees Neil Lennon's Bolton Wanderers take on the first home game of the latest new era, facing recently promoted Brentford at the Macron Stadium.

We spoke to friend of the site, Billy 'the Bee' Grant, of beesotted.co.uk.

He had the following to say when quizzed on a wide range of topics:

1) Mark Warburton is a new name to most fans, what can you tell us about him and his achievements to date?

Mark worked in the city for years as a trader - that was where he met Brentford manager Matt Benham.

He gave up trading to coach in football - starting working with the U9s in Watford and working his way up to head of their academy. He also created the NextGen series (the Champions League for European academies).

He was given a coaching job at Brentford around the time Andy Scott was sacked - working alongside interim manager Nicky Forster for a few months until Uwe Rosler was appointed.

Warburton was then made Sporting Director and was responsible for finding young up-and-coming players like defender Harlee Dean, last years' Division One player of the year midfielder Adam Forshaw, left back Jake Bidwell and winger Stuart Dallas who are all first team regulars now.

He was made manager after Uwe Rosler left mid last season for Wigan. Rosler was on a run of form at the time ... having won 7 and draw 1 of 8 league games before leaving the club.

Warburton picked the baton up and Brentford went on to win a further 9 and draw 2 games, eventually losing to Wolves - 4 months after the run started. He went on to win promotion for the Bees.

The fans absolutely love him as he is one of the most honest and down to earth people you are likely to meet ...

2) Who should Bolton Wanderers fans watch out for in the Brentford ranks?

Jota who we signed from Celta Vigo for £1.5m is coming into his own. He's something special.

He was a bit gobsmacked by how intense the English game was in the summer and took a time to acclimatise ... his touch is unbelievable and his skill i second to none ... he left two players on their arse before scoring a deft goal against Brighton recently.

Alex Pritchard is a tricky midfielder and was runner up Division One player of the year to Adam Forshaw, who we sold to Wigan Athletic in the summer.

Jonathan Douglas is a midfield don at the moment. Andre Gray we signed from Luton for £500k is well nippy and causes loads of problems.

Will get us loads of free kicks and penalties as central defenders struggle to cope with his pace. He hasn't scored for a few games - has been unlucky - so he is due a goal.

3) Natalie Sawyer from Sky Sports is a famous Brentford fan - any others that we might have heard of?

Dean ‘Robbie with Wellard the dog' Gaffney is a hard core Bees fan ... apparently.

Also, Rhino from Staus Quo and Dominic Holland the Comedian.

If anyone watched the cult TV series People Just Do Nothing, it was filmed in Brentford and The Kurupt FM crew are Bees fans.

4) We haven't faced each other in some time, how have the intervening years been treating you?

Despair and continually losing in the playoffs.

Actually getting promoted was a relief last season. We have lost in all 7 playoffs we have been in. We've also lost lost in all 5 major (Wembley and Cardiff) finals we've been in. Were the first team to lose at Cardiff after being given the 'winning dressing room'.

We haven't played you lot since 1995. We had only one playoff loss at the time (to Tranmere) so we were still optimistic.

That same year, we finished 2nd but were denied automatic promotion as the gong-up place was limited to top spot because they decided to cut down the Premier League.

We lost to Huddersfield in the Playoffs .. it was yet another deja vu moment for us.

5) Uwe Rosler departed for Wigan last year - any bitterness towards him?

Strange one this. Rosler was liked overall.

He was honest and hard working. And he changed the way we played football.

And he was very open and had a good relationship with the fans - bar one slightly tetchy moment when a small group of fans got on his back.

When he left, people we slightly disappointed and also worried .. as we were on such an unbeaten run. The job was given to Warburton who was, to be fair, doing his thing behind the scenes so no-one really knew that much about him.

Because he picked up the baton and continued the run for another two months which led to us eventually getting promoted anyway, Rosler leaving was quickly forgotten and people wished him well in his new job.

Things took a bit of a turn when he tried to poach a few players and staff from Brentford last season .. then succeeded in poaching Adam Forshaw in the summer.

Some would say "That's life .. he manages a new club .. you should expect him to raid his old cupboard" .. but the way it was done was perceived as being slightly underhand so there is a bit of a bad taste with the fans (and management) over that particular deal.

We played last week and he got a fair bit of stick from Bees fans .. but I have to be honest ... not nearly as much as he seems to be getting from Wigan fans.

Now that that game is over, I think it may blow over ... especially if we finish above Wigan this season

6) Any BWFC players that you're nervous to face?

Not really.

We can hold our own against anyone on the day. Jermaine Beckford is annoying as he scored against us for Leeds a few seasons ago in a game that we should have won at Elland Road.

He's one of these players who looks like he's not in the game .. then he pops up and does one thing.

Hopefully, he's as ineffective on Saturday as you fans have been moaning about.

7) Score Prediction?

We've had two goal-less draws ... so we're due some goals .. if not a win.

We also have kept two clean sheets in a row which has been a bit of a rarity for us this season. I reckon Bees will win 2-1.

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Thanks for that Billy, some interesting answers.

You can check out the Bolton fan preview by clicking here on the Beesotted site.

You can also catch the Beesotted pre-match podcast feat Bolton fan Matt Anderson on the Beesotted Audioboom channel from Friday morning.

Billy writes for www.beesotted.co.uk and can be found on the old Twitter @beesotted and @billythebee99.