Mark Warburton looks back on the opening to Sky Bet Championship seasonMark Warburton thinks Brentford have adjusted well to the new division after a positive start to the season.
The Bees sit eighth in Sky Bet Championship with eight points from their opening five games after Saturday’s 2-0 win over Rotherham United.
After a good start to the season Mark said it is important that the side continue to learn and adapt as the season goes on.
Speaking to Bees Player in the middle of the international break Mark said: “The boys have got eight points out of 15.
“If you talk to them individually and collectively they will say to you that we dropped a couple of points against Charlton.
“Against Birmingham we had the ten man situation but second half we did really well and should have nicked it.
“They have gone to Bournemouth and dropped three points but for the last half hour they have created chance after chance and in truth we will be one of the few teams to go to Bournemouth and play them off the park in that last half an hour.
“They have done really well adjusting to the new division and the challenges.
“They are learning with every game.
“Rotherham had beaten Millwall and gone to Wolves and won there.
“They were really good results and not many teams will go to Rotherham and get that much from Rotherham.
“We were aware of the challenge and I thought it was a tremendous performance.”
“The margins are tighter in the Championship.
“Last year you could play a team and give them four or five chances now if you give a team four chances you will find yourself two down.
“The division in physical too; you play some teams who are direct and strong and they do it in a really clever way.
“We have to deal with the physicality and we have to deal with it.
“We can’t be seen as a team that play nice football but you can beat them up.
“We are better than that and we showed that on Saturday.”
The Bees are in the midst of the International break and Mark admits it is a new experience for both him and the players.
After a tough few days training early in the week the players were given a few days off to recover after a tough start to the season before returning to training on Monday ahead of Saturday’s visit of Brighton & Hove Albion.
With this being the first international break for most of the players and staff Mark hopes that they have struck the right balance between work and rest but he is willing to adapt in future if the need arises.
“It was a very tough Level Five session,” said Mark.
“Yesterday was a Level Four session followed by a technical session and today it has been a Level Five session followed by lunch and then a gym session.
“They have worked really hard.
“It is new for us having an international break and we are looking at how best to use it and maximise the time.
“The boys have four days off now and they will be back in on Monday and Tuesday, off Wednesday and then working Thursday and Friday for Brighton.
“They have worked really hard.
“Blackpool away they got back at 4 30am and they have had Tuesday Saturday right the way through.
“They played 75 minutes with ten men against Birmingham so they have had various demands put on them.
“It is important for us to maximise the break and learn from it.
“If it is wrong what we are doing we will adjust it but right now it seems our best option.”
Mark added to his squad this week with the arrival on a season-long loan of Betinho from Sporting Lisbon.
He also had Youth Team striker Bradley Clayton train with the First Team for the first-time this week.
The Bees manager said both players have been welcomed into the squad easily and he said that is one of the great strengths of the group assembled here at Griffin Park.
“Betinho is a player we are very aware of and we know him very well from his Sporting Lisbon days and his NextGen days,” said Mark.
“We were well aware of Betinho but what happened to Scott Hogan accelerated that process to make sure we had the right cover in place.
“Scott will be well taken care of by a first class medical team but we had to make sure we had cover in place.
“Betinho coming in gives us that cover.
“We had three amigos before and now we have four.
“It makes it easier for him with the language and he will pick that up quickly.
“The group have been great.
“We talk about the unity and the harmony and they make a young guy feel welcome.
“Today we had young Bradley Clayton come up from the Youth Team to come and train with us for the first time and the senior pros made him feel welcome as part of the group.
“Jon De Souza commented on how well he had trained and myself and David Weir watched him in the first-half against Coventry City and he was impressive.
“He scored a good goal and worked tirelessly.
“He was clever on the ball and had good movement off the ball and he deserves a chance.
“We have said to the players that if you work hard we will give you the chance to come in and impress the First Team staff and the players as well.”
With the addition of Betinho and Bradley Clayton to The Bees training group there is now a lot of competition for places at Griffin Park.
While Mark said it is great to have options around the squad he added that it is a difficult balancing act to keep everyone in the squad happy.
“People always say to you that selection issues are a lovely problem to have but it is not,” said Mark.
“It is great to have the options.
“You turn around on the touchline and look at the bench and we have some real quality.
“We also have real quality not making the 18.
“You have to make sure that they are looked after with their game time whether it is with the Development Squad or doing extras after training.
“You have to make sure their individual needs are met and the staff here are excellent in doing that.
“It is not an easy problem because they want to play.
“Tony Craig is a prime example.
“He has played in every game for the last two and a half years for us and what happened against Birmingham happened.
“Harlee Dean stepped in and now Tony wants his shirt back.
“The way he trains out there tells you he wants his shirt back but likewise Harlee and James Tarkowski have have done equally well out there.
“It is that type of healthy competition that you want which is good.
“It is not easy to solve that situation.”
Bees Player subscribers can listen to the full interview here