Paul Cook admits Brentford are ‘a model club’ for the likes of Wigan Athletic and others to follow up the footballing pyramid.
Despite being rated as one of the pre-season favourites for promotion, the Bees have been somewhat hit and miss this term.
They’ve won just as many games as they’ve lost (6) to lie in 13th spot after 15 matches.
But Cook feels the cream will eventually rise to the top, and expects Thomas Frank’s outfit to be there or thereabouts come next May.
“I think Brentford are excellent, I have to admit,” the Latics boss admitted.
“Very rarely do I praise teams but, when I watch their games, I find myself enjoying everything about them.
“They’re a very well-coached team, good players all over the pitch, and probably a team everyone else in the division looks at and wonders why they’re still here.
“We’ve had reports in from their recent game against Huddersfield, whose game-plan was obviously to negate them, which is football, good luck to them.
“But in my view, Brentford are one of the best teams in the league, and will give us a very, very difficult game this weekend.”
Despite being in League Two not so long ago, Brentford have managed to climb to within touching distance of the Premier League thanks to a sound structure based around successful player trading.
“They’re a good football club, with a great philosophy and a clear identity,” Cook acknowledged.
“Thomas has been there for a year now, he’s been learning as he’s been going along, picking up experience in this league.
“They’ve had a couple of difficult results of late, coming on the back of very strong results, but they’re very capable of putting together a good run.
“I really like them, their football is very good on the eye...I could be here all day talking like this!
“But we’ve got to draw the line somewhere, and focus on what we can do and how we can beat them.
“To do that, we’ve got to take the moments in the game, be aggressive in the way we play and make it as difficult as we can for them.”
Cook also feels Brentford have benefitted from another vital component in enabling them to thrive.
“It’s also about time – the time to be able to grow within this division,” he added.
“You get time, you get bigger, you get better, you get stronger...on and off the pitch.
“Brentford are a great model for any club wanting to better themselves as part of a gradual process.
“You look at the likes of (Neal) Maupay and (Chris) Mepham, who have left for the Premier League for big money.
“They remain a selling club, but it’s how you reinvest that money to become bigger in the long term.
“If you have a good model in place, which they have, everything else falls into place around it.”