Shandon Baptiste paid tribute to the Brentford backroom staff after making his Premier League bow and insisted ‘you haven’t seen the best of me yet’. The former Oxford man was quick to thank everyone in the Club for their constant support during his 10-month absence with a cruciate ligament injury. Shandon made his first Premier League start as Brentford were beaten by Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.
“Thomas Frank and everyone at the Club was great always pushing me and asking me how I was doing, not just about my injury but about me as a person,” said Shandon. “I could not have asked for better people and coaching staff in such a hard stage of my career. Everyone was there for me, kept me positive and kept me going.”
Now he’s back after a good pre-season and shaking off a slight niggle, he’s determined to show Bees fans what they’ve been missing.
“I have still got a lot more to do," added Shandon. "I haven’t played a lot of games in the last 12 months but hopefully now I can build a good set of games to show everyone what I can do because I have got lot more to give.
“It’s about building yourself as a player by playing against the best and growing, so when you get in that team you want to stay there. Hopefully I’ve done enough to show why I should but whatever happens I’ll keep working hard.”
He is confident the flurry of chances Brentford have created in recent games will soon translate into goals and added: “We just have to put it in back of the net. We have great players so when these chances come we have to take them and in the games to come that’s going to start happening.”
His “great moment” of pride for himself and his family at a Premier League debut was marred by the late defeat, but the 23-year-old Grenadian insisted: “We knew we’d lose eventually, but Brighton had two chances and one was a goal.
“We lost but we’ll take something from it that what we’re doing is right and we’re defending well as unit. These games are tough and hard and the last 15 mins in the Premier League is where teams can keep the intensity so high – so it’s tough but we’ll learn from it.”