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Dean Smith on ‘very pleasing’ win

14 December 2016

Bees Head Coach reflects on tonight’s victory over Bristol City

Dean Smith said you couldn’t take anything away from the players as they picked up a second win in four days following a 1-0 victory over Bristol City tonight. Maxime Colin deflected Romaine Sawyers’ drive past Ivan Lucic with 20 minutes to play in what proved to be the game’s defining moment. Both sides had chances in what was an entertaining affair in the West Country with Dean pleased with the quality of The Bees’ attacking play.

“It was perhaps a fortunate goal: Romaine Sawyers hit a great strike, which I thought was going in, but it’s hit Maxime Colin on the backside and he has run off claiming it,” said Dean, speaking to Bees Player after the match. “For me it was a tale of two of the top scorers in the league both having chances and not taking them. I thought we had the better chances in the first-half and they had the better chances in the first 20 minutes of the second-half. If I look back it then a draw might have been a fair result but you can’t take anything away from the players today. We will reflect on the performance and review it as they have had a couple of chances which we feel we can do better with. It is about improving all the time but as a threat we always looked like scoring. Playing Lasse Vibe and Scott together probably surprised them and they worked well together today.”

After four straight Sky Bet Championship defeats, which culminated in the 5-0 loss at Norwich City earlier this month, The Bees have responded to take maximum points from their last two games. Following that defeat Dean said he has seen a really positive response and praised his side for their character and desire to win at Ashton Gate tonight..

“We knew that we were on a bad run and we had a bad result at Norwich City but the boys have certainly responded,” said Dean. “We had words in the dressing room after and the determination has been there. Tonight I spoke about character before the game. I wanted to see a lot of character on the pitch. I knew that it would be a footballing match but I didn’t think it would be quite as end to end as it was or have as many chances. Our shape at times was very good. We are still coming to terms with playing three at the back but they showed character that is for sure. There were bodies on the line at times and you had Scott Hogan chasing down the goalkeeper. Everyone, including the subs, put a real shift in.”

Tonight’s victory means that The Bees now join Newcastle United and Brighton and Hove Albion as the only sides to leave Ashton Gate with all three points this campaign. Ahead of another tough trip to Leeds United this weekend, Dean believes that tonight’s win will be a perfect confidence boost for the trip to Elland Road.

“It was very pleasing,” said Dean. “It is a tough place to come as they have been very free scoring. It is a great result for us and it will take us into the game on Saturday against Leeds United who have won again. We always put pressure on ourselves to go and get results but we know that it is going to be tough. We go there with confidence now. If we can go and put in a performance, and get the result to match, then it will be a great week. The feeling in the dressing room has changed now from the Norwich City game. Six points in two games is a great return but it shows how tough this league is. You have to be on it every game to have a chance of winning: if you aren’t you will get beaten.”

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