Christian Norgaard is hopeful his return from injury can help guide promotion-chasing Brentford into the top flight of English football for the first time in over 70 years. 

The Danish defensive midfielder made his first Bees appearance since December in Saturday’s 2-1 home win against Stoke City, coming on as a 77th-minute substitute as the west Londoners secured back-to-back successes. 

Brentford had fallen to three successive defeats earlier in February but their recent upturn in form sees them sitting second in the Championship table with 13 games remaining, three points clear of third-placed Watford. 

And Norgaard - who was sidelined with an ankle injury originally sustained in October - believes the fresh energy brought to the table by himself and Brentford’s other recent absentees could be key to seeing them over the line. 

“I haven’t been as mentally tired as the other guys so hopefully I can bring some of that energy to my teammates, whether that’s from the start or coming on from the bench,” Norgaard said. 

“It’s important now that we get as many bodies as possible in the squad fit and firing. I’ve come back now, Ivan’s [Toney] back, Pontus [Jansson] is coming back soon, and that’s really positive for us right now.”

Ivan Toney’s 25th Championship goal of the season sealed victory over Stoke 11 minutes from time after Vitaly Janelt had cancelled out Jacob Brown’s early opener at the Brentford Community Stadium. 

And following an improved second-half performance and the all-important three points, Norgaard is confident last season’s beaten play-off finalists can close the gap on league leaders Norwich when the sides lock horns in midweek. 

He added: “It was tricky out there on a tough pitch because normally you lose those kinds of games against Stoke. It felt really nice in the changing room after the game, having got the win. 

“It’s another big game on Wednesday. We’ve had two wins in a row now so to get that confidence in before Norwich could be really important.”