Chris Mepham reacts to The Bees 1-0 Youth Team defeat to QPR on SaturdayYouth Team defender Chris Mepham felt his side were unlucky not to take a least a point from their West London derby against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.
With 14 players out ill or injured it was very much a make-shift Brentford XI with three Under-16s starting and central-defender Audrius Laucys pressed into a striking role.
The Bees were more than a match for their West-London rivals but succumbed to an Addison Garnett header just before the hour to fall to their first defeat of the season.
Speaking to Bees Player after the match Chris said that preparations for the game had been very difficult in view of the bug that had swept through the team and caused the training ground to be cleared of players on Friday.
As a QPR fan Chris said he was desperate to get the three points and disappointed that they left Sipson Lane empty handed.
“It is good to have a session on Friday and get everyone organised and go through tactics,” said Chris.
“We had to improvise.
“I thought the warm-up out there was good and we all did well and it was what it was really.
“We couldn’t really do much about it.
“I thought we worked hard.
“We had key people out like Bradley Clayton who would thrive in games like this.
“We gave everything we could and it was disappointing to lose 1-0.
“I support QPR and I did give it my all today.
“I really wanted a win against them.
“I have been here before and it is a club that you want to get three points off.
“Everybody upped their game today but we were a little bit off the pace unfortunately.
“It is a local derby so they are going to want to beat us and we are going to want to beat them.
“If you score against your local rivals you are going to want to celebrate and get in their faces just like if we had scored we would have got in their faces and celebrated a bit more than usual.
“Unfortunately they were the winners today.”
The tall 16-year-began the game at right-back before being pressed into service in the centre of midfield after George Harmes went off injured.
Following the loss of Tom Field to a facial injury late on Chris found himself playing in a back three at centre-back.
Chris said he enjoyed his various roles on the pitch during the 90 minutes but felt it was important that he adapted quickly to the new challenges posed by the new positions.
“For me I love putting tackles in and winning headers so I don’t mind that side of the game,” said Chris.
“I thought we dealt with it well first-half but second-half we got exposed a little bit more.
“We stuck to the battle and did alright really.
“It is always good to go forward but it is annoying if you lose the ball and have to make a recovery run to get back.
“It is a part of my game I have to improve on and help support whoever is on my side really.
“I have to adapt and practice it in training.
“You have to adapt as quickly as you can.
“You can’t take 10 minutes to settle into a new position.
“As soon as you are there you have to do what you can and I gave it my all.
“Right-back is new to me and I am enjoying it.
“I just need to improve areas of my game and hopefully I will be alright.”
Brentford went into the game with six points from their opening two games following wins over Millwall and Barnsley.
Having struggled for results over the last couple of seasons Chris thinks that The Bees positive start to the season has set them up as a marker for other teams to challenge.
“We had six points from two games and we couldn’t have started the season any better,” said Chris.
“They really wanted to up their game because there is a lot of confidence in the team right now. “Every team is going to come out and treat us like a cup final because we are a very good side.
“We just have to make sure we dominate the games.”
Saturday’s game against QPR was Chris’s second game of the season for the Youth Team.
Having only joined the club in the summer Chris said he is keen to nail down a place in the starting line-up in these early weeks.
With a 24 man Youth Team squad this season plus a number of Under-16s playing up there is fierce competition for places within the Youth Team.
Chris knows that he has to keep performing to keep his shirt and said there is fierce competition for places within the Youth Team.
“I got the nod today and you have to give it your all when you are in the team because another week someone else might be back from injury,” said Chris.
“You have got to cement that place in the starting line-up.
“It is all good because you don’t feel angry towards your teammates.
“You want them to do well but you just have to make sure when you get the nod off the manager that you show him you are worthy of being in the starting line-up.”
Bees Player subscribers can listen to the full interview here