Brentford boss Mark Warburton has paid tribute to versatile club captain Kevin O'Connor.
The 31-year-old signed schoolboy forms at Griffin Park back in 1995 and is approaching 500 appearances for the Bees.
O'Connor, who is usually a midfielder, has had little action so far this season until an injury to Harlee Dean saw him step in seamlessly at centre-half for the last two matches.
Dean will have a fitness check ahead of Friday night's clash with Gillingham but Warburton will have no qualms about pitching O'Connor in again if necessary.
"Kevin has been here for many years, right from the academy, and is a terrific pro," Warburton said.
"He came in during the play-offs last season and did a great job and he's showing that again so I have no doubts about him.
"Our injured players will have fitness tests but with games coming Friday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday, we know we do not have to rush them back."
Brentford, still unbeaten since Warburton took over in December, will be looking to go back to the top of the table by beating Gillingham.
The Kent side are having an up and down season under Peter Taylor but Warburton will not be taking them lightly.
"There are no easy games," he added. "The teams at the top are fighting and the teams at the bottom are scrapping.
"We show respect to all our opponents, but we know that if we do what we do well then we will be in good shape."