Leaving out the club captain for the first time in 20 games and putting Stewart Downing in to an unfamiliar left back role – Tony Mowbray made some brave, but decisive calls.

He said it was a ‘gamble’ to go with Downing, leaving out Amari’i Bell who has now started just twice since Greg Cunningham was ruled out for the season last month and at a time when Derrick Williams is also out.

Ryan Nyambe missed the Barnsley win through illness but was quickly restored to the starting line-up, given the specific job of stopping one of the division’s most talented players, Said Benrahma.

The Brentford winger purred when the sides met at Griffin Park in February, giving Elliott Bennett a particularly tough time, while Brentford came in to the game with nine goals in their last three away games.

Downing set up the winner for Bradley Dack, ending a lung-bursting run forward from left back with the quality of delivery that allowed the attacker to sweep home first time to score his ninth of the season.

On the opposite flank, Nyambe was a little more subdued in his attacking work, but stuck manfully to his task against the tricky Benrahma.

The Namibia international was forced off late on, with what Mowbray hoped what was nothing more than cramp, with Downing getting the full 90 minutes.

The 35-year-old has impressed since his summer arrival, and it is his calmness in possession that has stood out most for his manager.

He explained: "It was a gamble to play him at left back, he’s 35-years-old and they are a fast, direct attacking team, who have ripped this league to bits over the last six weeks.

“We felt we needed more control and service from the back, and I think Tosin (Adarabioyo) can bring control from the back and I think Downing can as well.

“It was a gamble in case he got damaged by a flying right winger, but he didn’t get damaged, he competed really well, served the ball like he does every day in training.

"Every day I use him as an example. He’s been here five months and I don’t think he’s given the ball away once. He’s an unbelievable footballer and it jumps out a mile how he played for England and in the Premier League.

"With total respect to our players he’s just better than everybody else with the ball, doesn’t lose it, makes better decisions.

“Yet sometimes I don’t play him because he’s not a left back, but I we thought if we kept giving them the ball we’d end up with them having all the possession and they would give us problems.

“We made a decision to be better with the ball and I thought we were. Second half they left some space and on the transition we could have scored a couple more goals.

“But we’re happy with the 1-0 and move on to the weekend and try and find some form away from home.”

Nyambe started five consecutive matches before the international break, but a long trip back from Guinea where he represented Namibia, saw him pick up an illness that saw that run come to an end against Barnsley.

The 21-year-old was straight back in the team against Brentford however with Benrahma in mind, and despite coming off late on, Mowbray was happy with his contribution.

He added: “We played him because I think Benrahma is one of the best players in the division, he’s a special talent. And when you set Nyambe a challenge to set someone he’s pretty good at it. I’m delighted for him and for the team.”