Ollie Watkins has revealed his evolution into a star Championship striker came about by chance after Brentford failed to sign a forward on deadline day. 

Watkins, 24, was deployed as a winger and attacking midfielder when he first moved from Exeter City in 2017 but this season he has played as a No.9 for Thomas Frank’s side. 

And the move has paid off, with Watkins scoring 22 goals this campaign but he believes he would still be on the wing If a deadline deal was completed. 

“Thomas [Frank] never really pulled me in and told me I was going to play as a striker,” he told Sky Sports News EFL podcast. 

“In pre-season, we were playing five at the back and I was playing as one of the two wingers but it was almost like a No 10 playing inside and letting the wing-backs push on.

"I had a lot of chats with him and he said I would be playing there and then we failed to sign a couple of strikers. One broke down on Deadline Day and there was no one else that would play that position so I got put there.

“If it was down to it, I would probably still be playing on the wing but luckily I think I have found my position now.

"I always knew I could score more goals so I was getting frustrated when I was in the wide areas, but looking back, just being in the box.

“A lot of my goals this year aren't the prettiest on the eye but they are effectively the hardest ones because I'm surrounded by defenders but the ball always falls to me because I am in the right place."

While the striker is in the running for the Championship’s Golden Boot – he’s one goal behind Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic’s 23 - Watkins says he would give up the individual accolade for promotion to the Premier League. 

"That's the minimum, really, play-offs,” he explained. 

“But with a lot of games in a short period of time, it's going to be hard when we go back. Anything can happen.

 “Top of the league can lose to bottom of the league. Fingers crossed but we have got to perform and get as many points as possible in those nine games.

"It would be unbelievable to win the Golden Boot but I would give it up in a heartbeat to win promotion, to be honest. It doesn't matter if I don't score another goal but we get promoted, I'm happy at the end of the day. There are nine games to go; hopefully, I do both!”