Head Coach speaks to the media ahead of visit to Elland Road
Brentford Head Coach Marinus Dijkhuizen said there can be a second beginning to the season this week after an international break and the closure of the Transfer Window. The Bees have four points from their first four Sky Bet Championship matches after a turbulent start to the campaign.
With players moving in and out of the Club, serious injuries to key players and a game postponed because the Griffin Park pitch needed relaying, Marinus admitted his first months at Brentford had been difficult. But he said the week without a match due to international fixtures, allowing everyone to have a break, came at a good time and the players had trained well ahead of two games in four days – away to Leeds United tomorrow, Saturday 12 September, and Middlesbrough on Tuesday.
“It can be like a new beginning,” said Marinus, speaking to the media yesterday. “The squad is clear, we know who is in and who is out. The past few months – with not knowing who was leaving and coming in – has been difficult but now everyone knows who is in the squad and who they will compete with.
“It was a big two months for me. There were a lot of new experiences and I learned more in two months than in the past four years. This is a new country, new coaches to work with and a bigger staff. This is completely different for me, a new step.
“With players being bought and sold, the pitch and injuries, I was happy to go home for a couple of days. The break came at a good time. A lot happened in a couple of months. The players got to go home as well. But it is good to be back and we go on.
“We have had time with the players this week but we still have a lot of injuries, which makes things difficult. But we have had a lot of good training sessions. It is difficult to lose quality players and the players know when good players aren’t available but you have to deal with it.
Marinus said there had been good and bad moments so far this season and picked out the lack of clean sheets and the need to start games better. He said coming back from two goals down against Ipswich Town and beating Bristol City were good signs and said Toumani Diagouraga had reacted well to being withdrawn early on in the defeat to Reading before the break.
The Bees travel to Elland Road tomorrow to face a Leeds team that are unbeaten, albeit they have won one of five Championship matches. They then stay in the north before a match against Middlesbrough three days later.
Marinus said new signings Marco Djuricin, Sergi Canós and Ryan Woods would be available but Sam Saunders had picked up an injury. Long-term injury victims Andreas Bjelland, Scott Hogan, Jota, Josh McEachran and Lewis Macleod would not play but Marcos Tébar was on his way back.
He said: “I have watched Leeds and I know they have not lost a game this week. There will be a big crowd and a nice pitch, which will be good. Leeds and Middlesbrough are tough teams but there aren’t many easy games. You look at the players and the money around, every week is tough.
“Having two away games is tough but we are staying up. We will be away for five nights, staying after Middlesbrough to recover. We have four or five days together, which will be good.
“We have a good team but I don’t know where we stand in the league. We will be more stable and that is a good thing. Our big injuries are not different but Sam Saunders has another injury, he has not trained. Marcos Tébar has trained but is not fit to play, Andy Gogia is a question, he got an injury yesterday. Everyone else is fit.”
Bees Player subscribers can see Marinus’ full pre-match press conference below.