In a week where the issue of captaincy in football has dominated the media, Brentford manager Andy Scott found time to praise his in-form skipper Kevin O’Connor, calling him an inspiration, not only to the players, but to the community.

O’Connor played his 34th game of the season on Saturday as Brentford comprehensively defeated Gillingham 4-0, thanks to a Myles Weston brace and two Charlie McDonald penalties.

Having graduated through the youth levels at Griffin Park, O’Connor, now in his 11th season with the Bees, has performed consistently all season and has been granted a testimonial at the end of the campaign against Tottenham Hotspur.

Scott is delighted with the way the Irishman conducts himself and hopes the versatile midfielder can stay playing at the top of his game for many years to come.

“Kevin is a stalwart of the club,” said Scott. “There have never been any doubts his attitude and he has always behaved impeccably on and off the pitch.

“He is an inspiration to the young lads and the whole community.

"He is a local boy who has come up through the youth ranks and established himself in the first team.”

Saturday’s win took the Bees to within two points of ninth-placed Bristol Rovers and, with the play-offs still in Brentford’s reach, Scott believes that the influence of O’Connor may play a huge role for the reason of the season.

“He is someone people can look up to and he is a professional," he said.

"The lads love him and I know I can rely on him.

"He is a central figure in the team and, hopefully, we can start catching up on the play-offs pack.

“He does his job on the pitch - if he didn’t then he would not command the respect that he does.

"He is very important to us, all the players contribute immensely but certainly Kevin is a pleasure to have around.”