Stand-in Brentford boss Neil MacFarlane said his young Bees’ FA Cup win over Middlesbrough was a result of the club’s vision for the future.
Brentford gave debuts to three B-team players and included just one first-team regular in the 2-1 third-round win, with first goals for the club for Halil Dervisoglu and Saman Ghoddos.
Assistant manager MacFarlane, who stood in after head coach Thomas Frank tested positive for Covid-19, said: “It was a terrific game of football with a number of different personnel.
“But the blend of youth and experience you saw was the result of the project I bought into and some great work before my time which came to fruition today.
“The young players acquitted themselves really well, backed up by some senior pros. It was a really good blend and a really good performance and it was difficult to single out anyone today.
“Both teams had chances in an enthralling game of football. They were good on the counter but everybody gave everything for the club today.”
He hailed the work on the B-team set-up and added: “All staff at this club have been nothing short of sensational and hopefully we will go the extra step in the league due to the work ethic and desire you saw today.
“It was a big day for a lot of the young players today, so they had a terrific afternoon and the most important thing was we won the game.”
Middlesbrough boss Neil Warnock said he was pleased to be out of the FA Cup after seeing his young stars give fans a glimpse of a bright future for the club.
Sam Folarin’s first senior goal was just a consolation, but Warnock was delighted with the performance.
“We had 20 shots to their eight or nine, so I’m really pleased with them – and pleased to be out now. We gave a good account of ourselves and they will have learned from that,” he said.
“I don’t think we could have done that much more. We had plenty of chances and we looked like we enjoyed it. And to be honest I enjoyed watching them.”
His delight at seeing the youngsters shine was muted by a serious knee injury to Marcus Browne, but Warnock added: “We’re hoping it’s not as bad as it looked.
“His kneecap came out and went back in, so it depends on the scan on Monday. It’s a shame as he looked really sharp tonight.”
Warnock was furious at the 6pm kick-off time and was critical of the FA schedulers.
“I’m disappointed with the result but I didn’t want extra time,” he said. “Middlesbrough v bloody Brentford at that time?
“I’d love the FA people to be on our coach tonight. It’s 2021 and they can’t organise a drink-up in a brewery.”