“Everyone can dance one summer, it’s about being consistent,” were the prophetic words of Brentford boss Thomas Frank ahead of his side’s Carabao Cup Quarter-Final clash against Newcastle United.
Now, with four consecutive wins against Premier League opposition, it is clear his side are no longer afraid of dancing with the elite – something which could pay dividends not just with cup silverware but their fight for promotion as the season progresses.
Knockout football can be precarious for any side, with Brentford’s run to the semi-finals showing an incredible ability to win in different ways and under different circumstances.
It is in stark contrast to four months ago when Brentford didn’t just lose once on centre stage – they collapsed.
Losing to Barnsley on the final day of the Championship season saw the side miss out on automatic promotion. Shortly after, they put in an inept display at Wembley against Fulham in the subsequent Play-Off Final.
It was clear that this side was not ready to have all eyes on them.
But now, with that experience under their belts, they have proven they are more than capable of winning big games.
Beating good Premier League sides Newcastle United and Southampton showed their quality alongside a bit of revenge on Fulham and an entertaining game against West Bromwich Albion.
In all of these games, Brentford managed to find a way to win through different routes.
Against Southampton, they used a pair of goals towards the end of the first-half to secure their victory and then preserved it with an impressive defensive display as the Saints attempted to get back into the match.
Away to West Brom they came from behind twice to grind out a two-all draw, showing a resilience they lacked in previous years.
They may not have been at their best, giving up two penalties in regular time, but they managed to survive to win on spot-kicks and secure their place in the round of 16.
At home to Fulham, they pummelled the Cottagers in what proved to be Said Benrahma’s swan song; dominating possession, creating plenty of chances and scoring some wonderful goals along the way.
It was a performance we have all come to expect of the Bees, giving them plenty of confidence as they headed towards tonight’s clash with the Magpies.
On a wet and muddy pitch, they were sloppy and wasteful at times but showed passion and quality when it was needed, winning without some of the free-flowing football that has come to be expected from this side.
A moment of pure brilliance from Josh Dasilva was the difference to seal a first semi-final appearance in a major cup competition in the club’s history.
No matter what happens in that semi-final, the Bees have proven they are ready for their push towards the Premier League.
Even if it requires another Play-Off run, their confidence will be sky-high with this Brentford side unlikely to crumble under the pressure once again.
It’s clear that, with some heartbreak and experience under their belt, they are a threat for anyone – whether it be in the league or the cup.