Boss looks ahead to new season
Brentford Manager Uwe Rösler said his aim for the 2012/13 season was for it to be better than 2011/12.
The Bees finished ninth in npower League One last season, three places and five points behind Stevenage, who took the last Play-Off spot.
Brentford begin their 2012/13 League One campaign at Bury tomorrow and Uwe said The Bees were one of a dozen teams who could challenge.
“We want to be better than last year,” he told a pre-season press conference.
“Last year we made improvement in many areas, we ended the season five points off the Play-Offs.
“This year we want to be better.
“The higher you get, the thinner the air gets.
“We are in a group of ten or 12 teams that want to be at the top.”
Brentford were unbeaten in pre-season – beating Hampton and Richmond Borough, Hayes and Yeading United, Basingstoke Town and Wycombe Wanderers as well as winning one game and drawing two on a tour of Germany.
However, they kicked off the competitive season last week by losing 1-0 to Walsall in the Capital One Cup.
“In general pre-season has been very good,” said Uwe.
“We had a good training camp in Germany.
“We wanted to play Premier League or Championship clubs but couldn’t do it because of the Olympics.
“We came well through the games we did play.
“But we found out last week a good pre-season does not always guarantee you win your first competitive game.”
Uwe said he thought the league would be tight this season and Brentford needed to score more goals in order to be closely involved at the top.
“There are ten or 12 teams who can do well,” he said.
“There is a bunch, and we are one, who will fight in the top half.
“It will be competitive.
“We have to score more goals.
“We have to turn dominance in to goals, that will make a difference.
“We need more goals to make the next step.”
Mark Warburton – Brentford’s Sporting Director, who was also at the media briefing – added: “Consistency is key.
“This year it is more wide open, some big hitters have gone.
“It will be an interesting year.
“We have added players to the squad to add consistency.”
There have been come changes to the squad over the summer with Craig Woodman, Marcus Bean, Marcel Eger, Pim Balkestein, Myles Weston, Sam Wood and Karleigh Osborne leaving while Jake Bidwell, Niall McGinn, Clinton Morrison and Adam Thompson also departed at the end of their loan contracts.
The Bees have turned loan deals for Harlee Dean and Adam Forshaw in to permanent contracts and also signed Scott Barron, Tony Craig, Farid El Alagui and Stuart Dallas while Ryan Fredricks has arrived on a season-loan loan from Tottenham Hotspur.
Mark said: “Over the summer we let some good players go, some loyal servants, players who were competent in League One.
“Uwe is looking for quality.
“The summer was spent filling the holes.
“We wanted to add experience; we were too young at times last year.
“My time was spent making sure we got the players that would make a difference.
“We are working hard on getting more players.
“We know we need another striker and maybe one more to add some depth.
“We would prefer a permanent player but it may be a loanee.”
Mark said his experience working in the Academy at Watford and in setting up the NextGen Series, a European competition for Academy sides, helped in the recruitment of players.
“My relationship with clubs allows me to get honest feedback on players we are looking to get,” said Mark.
“There are plenty of good young players that may not be ready for League One.
“We need players that can adapt to League One football.
“I will be going to Europe to watch a game next week.
“I was at Aston Villa v Sporting Lisbon in the NextGen Series on Wednesday.
“There are boys of 18, 19 and people suggest we get them.
“But they may not speak English, we would have to uproot them and bring them from the heat of Portugal to a cold English winter.
“It’s a tough ask
“It’s a great idea but it has to be the right boy.
“If it’s 50/50 between a boy from abroad and an English boy, we’ll take the English boy.
“We have a support network here that is of Championship quality and that helps us get players.
“If we get the support network in place, we’ll be in a good place when we get promoted.”
Mark said Brentford would not be throwing money at players in order to improve on the past few years.
He said the playing budget was the same as it had been in recent seasons and the key was to use it well.
“There seems to be an impression that we have trebled our budget, that’s not the case,” said Mark.
“We are fortunate to have an owner and a board supporting us with a good budget but it’s the same as recent years.
“We have looked at thinning the squad, moving seven or eight out to bring in three or four of higher quality.
“We are looking at how best to utilise the money we have.
“You also have the case where agents’ fees aren’t going down.
“We are looking for a level of player coming in but that means a higher wage and a higher agent’s fee.
“It’s galling that money leaves the game but I can’t see it changing.
“We look at the whole package when signing a player.”
Uwe said one way to improve results was to have fewer players of higher quality.
He said it was important those players were available as much as possible and the investment in the medical department and better training facilities would help that.
“We are operating with the same budget as the Club has done for the past few years,” said Uwe.
“We had to find ways to improve results.
“We wanted to thin the squad; we then have to make sure we keep the players fit.
“We have to have a good medical and fitness department.
“I’m confident we can do that.
“Spending on the support network will help us have long term success rather than just spending on wages and transfer fees.”
Uwe said with a smaller squad, young players would get the chance to train with the First Team.
He said the First Team had a strong bond with the Club’s new Football Academy, a Category Two operation under the new Elite Player Performance Plan, and praised the Club’s Under-15 team, which recently won the prestigious Milk Cup youth tournament.
“We believe in giving young players a chance to participate regularly in training with the First Team,” he confirmed.
“We can then look at specific players.
“Brentford will not buy their way out of this league.
“Within the financial framework and having a strong Academy, every young player will know they have a chance to play with the First Team boys.
“Young players at Brentford have a golden opportunity.
“We want a strong bond with the Academy and vice-versa.
“We were all delighted with the Milk Cup win and the way the young lads played.”
Mark added: “The Academy should be the heartbeat of the Club.
“We had a five-year plan for the Academy and winning the Milk Cup came ahead of the curve.
“Recruitment is going very well.
“Supporters want to see players join at eight and wear a First Team shirt at 18.
“Everything is in place at the Club now.
“We are surrounded by giants.
“If we can show them we have an outstanding Academy, players are well cared for, we can attract better players.”
The full pre-season press conference in available on Bees Player.
Due to the length of the video it has been published in four parts.