Brentford have issued a statement in regards to Mark Warburton, yet this has failed to clarify the long-term future of their manager.
Warburton replaced Uwe Rosler as manager of the Bees in December 2013, when he declined the offer to follow the German to Wigan Athletic. Having missed out on promotion to the Championship on the final day of the previous season, the 52-year-old ensured they made no mistake the following term when he led them to 17 wins from his 27 games in charge to clinch a second-place finish.
Although the Griffin Park club were tipped by some to make an instant return to League One, they have enjoyed a fine season in the second-tier and are fourth in the table just five points off automatic promotion. Yet despite this, it was widely reported on Tuesday morning that even if they reach the Premier League, Warburton would be dismissed at the end of the current season.
It is believed that Brentford executives met with Rayo Vallecano coach Paco Jemez last week to discuss the possibility of him taking over as manager in the summer. This has forced the club to issue an official statement on the speculation, yet whilst this recognises the performance of Warburton, they have stopped short of denying the reports that he will be replaced ahead of next term.
The 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 but Brentford FC do want to confirm that Mark Warburton remains our manager.”
Brentford take on fellow promotion hopefuls Watford on Tuesday night, when a win would see them move five points clear of the Hornets. With only 16 matches left to complete after this meeting before the end of the season, the possibility of visiting the likes of Anfield, Old Trafford and White Hart Lane is sure to be the talk of the fans at the moment, and Warburton remains focused on delivering.
“For me, my only focus is obviously the team,” he told Sky Sports. “The team is focused and we are in a good position and they have worked so hard to get in this position. There will be no negative impact, we are focused on the job at hand. We are fourth in the league and we are where we are because we deserve to be there. If we can maintain consistency, we will be in a good place come May 2.”