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“It was a point earned tonight because we didn’t play well enough to get the three points”

31 December 2016

Dean Smith satisfied with point but wants to see more creativity from side after Norwich City stalemate

Brentford Head Coach Dean Smith felt his side didn’t do enough to merit the three points as 2016 ended with a hard fought 0-0 draw against Norwich City at Griffin Park. The two sides cancelled each other out for large parts of this evening’s encounter with the best of the chances that did come falling to the visitors, and Cameron Jerome in particular.

Speaking to Bees Player after the match, Dean said: “It was a point earned tonight because we didn’t play well enough to get the three points. It surprised me that they changed their system: I have very rarely seen Norwich play with a three at the back and it kind of cancelled everything out for the whole game. Both teams were trying to keep each other at bay without giving too much. They created the two best chances of the game but didn’t take them. Until the sending off we hadn’t really created too much of note or put too much pressure on them. I thought we started the second-half better. The first 20 to 25 minutes of the second-half was more like us but the difference was probably their quality on the ball which was better than ours.”

The two sides met in East Anglia four weeks ago with The Canaries running out 5-0 winners on that occasion. Dean admitted that result might still have been in the back of his players’ minds at Griffin Park this evening and feels that could explain his side’s cautious approach at times.

“We want to go and win every game and the message at the start of the game was to go out and win the game,” said Dean. “There was a lot of caution from the players out there. Sub-consciously the defeat at Carrow Road earlier in the month was fresh in our players’ memories and they didn’t want to concede that first goal but certainly the message was to try and win the game. The clean sheet is a big positive for us and it is another point towards the total. We know that we have to be more creative and put teams under more pressure than we did today.”

The Bees have followed that defeat at the hands of Norwich City earlier in the month by taking eight points from the next five matches over the festive period. Dean has been buoyed by his team’s performances in recent weeks and hopes to see that continue into 2017.

“Since that Norwich game it has been two wins, two draws, and one last minute loss,” said Dean. “We felt that we should have won the Cardiff City game but today we didn’t deserve to win. There has been an upward curve and certainly our performances, and our strength of character has been there to see.”

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