Mark Warburton's faith in youth has got League One leaders Brentford growing up fast

Life beyond the Premier League: He has overseen eigh victories in nine games since he replaced Uwe Rösler as manager

There is something good brewing down at Brentford. For a football club with, uniquely in Britain, a pub on each corner of their Griffin Park ground, that might not be an unusual statement to make but this is about points, rather than pints.

The League One leaders are the country's form team, with a stunning record of 15 wins and two draws from their last 17 league matches. Not even Manchester City can match that, and not even Wednesday's rare cloud on the horizon – the news of a delay in the London Mayor Boris Johnson's decision over whether to call in their planned Lionel Road stadium development for further scrutiny – can deflate the buoyant mood.

"A massive step" is how Brentford's manager, Mark Warburton, describes the prospect of a 20,000-seat stadium near Kew Bridge, already approved by Hounslow Council, west London. Yet life seems rosy enough at homely old Griffin Park right now, with Tuesday's 3-1 success over Bristol City bringing Warburton's eighth victory in nine games since he replaced Uwe Rösler as manager.

"Most of the players I had signed and knew very well," he tells The Independent of a seamless transition from his old role as sporting director. "You put your fingerprints on it, but there was no need for major surgery."

It is a first managerial post for Warburton, whose CV makes interesting reading. Once a Leicester City apprentice, he played non-league for Enfield while working in the City as a currency trader. When cruciate injuries curtailed his career, he began coaching. "I was always coaching, whether it was Under-nines or men's teams or high schools," explains the 51-year-old. "I was working in the City but I always wanted the football and reached a stage [in his late thirties] where it was either I do it now or never at all. With the culture in the City, in terms of working in a team and man-management, you can transfer a lot of those skills to the football world."

He started working at Watford under Aidy Boothroyd, becoming academy manager before joining Brentford in February 2011 as interim first-team coach. That summer he was appointed sporting director.

It was through NextGen, the junior tournament for Europe's leading clubs Warburton helped Matthew Benham, the Brentford owner, set up, that he got to know David Weir and Frank McParland – the latter was Liverpool's academy director – who have joined him as assistant coach and director of football respectively. "I like people who are keen on giving young talent a chance," says Warburton. This sums up Brentford's ethos: their academy has category two status and last week a £2m indoor training facility opened at Uxbridge High School, where their schoolboys will be based.

Warburton's background in academy football ensures a steady influx of "young, hungry professionals" like midfielder Nico Yennaris, whom he watched as a 10-year-old and has been freshly recruited from Arsenal. "Boys like Adam Forshaw and Jake Bidwell are now key players for us and I watched them at 14, 15 for Everton," he adds.

Another of Brentford's young, hungry brigade is Marcello Trotta, the Fulham loanee whose penalty miss on the final day of last season against Doncaster cost automatic promotion. "We could easily have had a negative reaction at the start of this season but the boys have been really focused," says Warburton.

There is a long way to go before promotion, he adds, but there is no hiding his ambition. "We are not going up to the Championship just to come up for one year and come down again. We want to go up and stay up." Brentford fans will drink to that.

Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas