Hull City's hero from the 2008 Championship play-off final Dean Windass has backed Brentford to triumph over Swansea in the showpiece event on Saturday.
Thomas Frank's side had looked like strong contenders for automatic promotion earlier in the campaign, though some patchy form at the turn of the year meant they finished in third place for the second consecutive season.
The Bees will be hoping to exorcise some Wembley demons having been beaten in last season's play-off final by Fulham. Windass believes that experience will help them and that they'll be victorious on Saturday.
“I think with the experience that Brentford had last year and they've obviously gone into it this year a bit more open-minded, the manager will know the situation,” he told 90min.
“I just think it’ll be a bridge too far for Swansea tomorrow obviously with the experience of Brentford last year. I’m sure Brentford will have enough now, they’ve had that experience, they’ll be the favourites."
One man who will no doubt be crucial to Brentford's efforts at Wembley will be leading scorer Ivan Toney. The former Peterborough striker broke the record for the most goals scored in a single Championship campaign with his haul of 31 in the regular 2020/21 season.
Windass believes Toney is more than good enough to cut it in the Premier League and that he'll be making the step up to the top tier this summer regardless of whether Brentford are promoted or not.
“Yes," he replied when asked if Toney is good enough for the Premier League. "I think obviously the Championship to the Premier League is a massive jump. The situation now on Brentford supporters’ lips is ‘if we win the game and go to the Premier League is he going to stay?’. He certainly won’t stay if they get beat tomorrow.
“He won’t have a shortage of takers in the Premier League, but the proof will be in the pudding. He’ll want to play in the Premier League like every other player does. If it’s with Brentford then brilliant for the supporters and for himself."
Similar to Toney at Brentford, questions have been raised as to whether Swansea boss Steve Cooper will make the move to a Premier League club this summer if Swansea fail to achieve promotion.
Windass sees no reason why Cooper shouldn't move on this summer if Swansea get beat on Saturday, though he did raise concerns over the huge step up between managing in the second-tier and moving up to the Premier League.
"Certainly he’s done a fantastic job for Swansea," he added. "Yeah why not [move up to the Premier League]? You can only get experience from being given the opportunity and he’ll be desperate for Swansea to win tomorrow.
“I think the different scenario with managers is you have a lot of egos. Nowadays footballers are different to when we played, the managers could dictate what goes on.
"One thing about Coops is he’s done a fantastic job, but the trouble is that going from the Championship to the Premier League with bigger players, bigger wages, bigger egos - it’s how you adapt to that. Players do look at you and think ‘who are you?’ this, that and the other."
Former England international Rob Green and legendary striker Dean Windass are helping football fans around Great Britain take control of their energy spending while also encouraging everyone to do their bit to help upgrade our outdated energy system by getting a smart meter – paving the way for smarter homes and more integration of renewables like wind and solar.
Source : 90min