Dean Smith reflects on Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Leeds United
Brentford Head Coach Dean Smith felt his side were well worth a point as Kyle Bartley’s 89th minute header decided this afternoon’s Sky Bet Championship fixture at Elland Road. A match of few chances looked to be heading towards stalemate until the Leeds United skipper rose highest to flick a header past Daniel Bentley in the dying minutes. Speaking to Bees Player after the match, Dean felt his side controlled large parts of the game but were punished for a momentary lack of concentration.
“We are really disappointed as it was a game we didn’t deserve to lose,” said Dean. “There wasn’t a lot in the game. I thought we controlled the game for the first hour: we were very good, very organised, and very disciplined. We made a very good team look average. There weren’t many chances in the game and those that there were, up to the Souleyman Doukara chance, were ours. That was the best chance of the game and we probably dropped a bit deeper after that and were a little loose on the ball. However, we didn’t deserve to lose. We went to sleep from a short corner. There are a few bits and bobs that we can get better at to make sure that won’t happen again. On the whole I am pleased with the performance but disappointed for all of us.”
The game in West Yorkshire was decided on two moments, late on in both halves. At the end of the first-half, Lasse Vibe was adjudged to be offside as he squared for Scott Hogan to tap home what would have been the opening goal. And it was late on in the second period that Bartley netted the all-important goal after a couple of errors in The Bees backline.
“The lads have put a lot of effort in but it is small margins,” said Dean. “We had a goal chalked off which should have stood: Lasse Vibe has gone through, something we worked with on the training ground, and we are disappointed with that. A goal lead, with our discipline and organisation, would have made it very difficult for them to open us up. It was tight but he was level. It would have given the lads a lot of confidence and something to hold onto. The lads have covered a lot of distance this week. Yoann Barbet has just come on for Tom Field, who had a really good game but was shattered, and he slips. Ryan Woods had to give the corner away and they have taken it quickly. Ryan was still trying to get back into position and he wasn’t facing the ball. John Egan got muscled off the ball and it ended up in the back of the net.”
The Bees named the same starting XI from Tuesday night’s 1-0 win over Bristol City, continuing with three central defenders. While Dean was understandably disappointed to see Brentford’s winning run come to an end, he feels that the switch to three at the back is helping to bring the best out of his side.
“They have taken to it really well,” said Dean. “They seem comfortable and confident. There are still some things we can work on when we have the ball but defensively we are looking very comfortable. It would have been great to get three wins on the spin but we haven’t quite got that. However, we are heading in the right direction that is for sure.”