Mark Warburton’s future is shrouded in doubt after Brentford refused to deny their manager will be dismissed in the summer, before their late defeat to Watford.
Brentford had Jake Bidwell sent off in the first half before going ahead through Andre Grey. Troy Deeney then missed a penalty, but Odion Ighalo scored twice to give Watford the three points.
It is claimed Warburton has been told he will leave Griffin Park at the end of the season, even if he guides the club into the Premier League.
Brentford also refused to deny that owner Matthew Benham has held talks with Rayo Vallecano coach Paco Jemez.
In a statement released before their 2-1 defeat to Watford, Brentford did not clarify Warburton’s long-term position and said they are “talking to other people within the game to learn about other ways of doing things”.
Warburton will have caught the eye of other clubs this season and bookmakers slashed the odds on the 52-year-old joining Queen’s Park Rangers.
Brentford’s statement read: “Given Mark’s increasing profile within the game, we recognise that he will deservedly have turned the heads of other clubs. As with every other sensibly run club, we plan for various possible eventualities.
“We are a progressive club who do talk to other people within the game to learn about other ways of doing things, and to consider novel strategic approaches to the game. Those conversations continue internally, and are part of a healthy dialogue.
“Football is sometimes called a village, and in any village, gossip and rumours can spread like wildfire, whether or not such rumours are true. It would not be in the club’s interests to disclose any of those discussions.”
Warburton has taken the Bees from League One to the Championship. This defeat leaves them in sixth, six points off automatic promotion and seven off the top.
Speaking before the game, Warburton said: “The club have made a statement and everything is contained within that. The team have done well and I understand the club have to plan for any eventuality, it is a very forward-thinking club. My only focus is on the team. We are in a good position with 17 games to go.”
Brentford (4-2-3-1): Button; Odubajo, Dean, Tarkowski (Craig, 52), Bidwell; Douglas, Diagouraga; Peleteiro Ramakko (Toral, 73), Pritchard (Smith, 79), Dallas; Gray. Substitutes not used Bonham, Saunders, Smith, Yennaris, Long.
Watford (4-2-3-1): Gomes; Paredes. Cathcart, Angella, Anya (Hoban, 90); Watson (Abdi, 58), Tozser; Layun, Ighalo, Forestieri; Deeney (Vydra, 84). Substitutes not used Bond, Ekstrand, Doyley, Pudil.
Referee K Stroud (Dorset).Reuse content