Brentford FC took part in a series of interviews for a feature in The Times newspaper this week. Owen Slot, the paper's Chief Sports Writer, met a group of Bees players earlier this week. They reflected on their first ten games of the Premier League season.
Owen spoke to Shandon Baptiste, Rico Henry, Pontus Jansson, Bryan Mbeumo and Ivan Toney before Brentford took on Norwich City yesterday. They talked about their first games in the Premier League, anything that had taken them by surprise and their opinions on some of their opponents. Pontus explained how tiring playing at that level is.
“I am almost more mentally tired than physically tired," said the Brentford captain. “In the Championship, I was doing it a bit on autopilot, I knew what was going to come. Here, you have to be switched on for every second of every game. After a game, you feel like you are almost gone.
“The difference is that in the Championship — and it was the same in Sweden and Italy — the strikers are either quick or strong or good with the ball. Here your strikers have all of it together. Lukaku: he’s tall, strong, quick, he moved well, he’s a good finisher. That’s why the Premier League is the best league in the world and why I invest so much in the mental side of it.”
The full piece contains comments from all five players. They reflect on the games played and how they felt to make the step up. See it here, behind a paywall.