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“We have to go out and deliver”

8 December 2016

Dean Smith previews Saturday’s home game against Burton Albion

Brentford Head Coach Dean Smith says he has seen a real determination to put right the wrongs of last weekend as the team prepares for Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship fixture at home to Burton Albion. The Bees were on the end of a 5-0 defeat to Norwich City last Saturday which prompted a frank discussion in the dressing room after the match. Now, ahead of the visit of Nigel Clough’s Brewers, themselves without an away win this season, Dean said it is important that the players translate that determination into a performance in front of the home fans on Saturday.

“We had a result and performance that we don’t want to see again but our last home game was frustrating because we didn’t get the result,” said Dean, speaking to Bees Player ahead of the match. “We have to get back to that and make sure that we are ready for this game. I played against Burton when I was manager at Walsall and they did brilliantly to get promoted last season. They will be very competitive and will make it a tough game for us. If I was them, and looking at our recent results, I would look at playing on that and getting the crowd on top of us. Our crowd have been really good and they were excellent last Saturday at Norwich City, even though they didn’t have a lot to cheer. It is important they get behind a young squad of players and hopefully they get a performance like they got against Birmingham.  We have to go out and deliver. Hopefully Saturday was a one-off because the players don’t want to go through that again. I have seen a determination in their eyes this week.”

Saturday’s defeat in East Anglia extended The Bees run without a win to four matches and saw Dean’s side drop into the bottom third of the Sky Bet Championship table. Despite that run of form, Dean insists that the only pressure he is feeling is that from within as he looks to turn the side’s fortunes around.

“People ask if there is more pressure on Saturday’s game than there was last week and I say not in my head,” said Dean. “People will think there might be because they will look at the run that you are on but I felt as much pressure in my first game against MK Dons as I will on Saturday. That’s the pressure that you put upon yourself. We had a meeting and we talked about looking in the mirror to see that we are all doing the best we can to get a result and performance on Saturday. There should be reflection after every game: did you do things right, did you make the right decisions, and the right substitutions? There should be a lot of reflection because you can only improve like that. This week has been no different than any other week but we have to make sure that we get a performance.”

There will be a new face in the dugout on Saturday after Thomas Frank, who previously had spells with the Danish FA and Brondby, joined The Bees this morning as an Assistant Head Coach, alongside Richard O’Kelly. Dean was delighted to see Thomas added to the coaching group at Griffin Park and has been impressed with what he has seen of Thomas so far. 

“Thomas has a different skill set that can add to the skill set that we have already got,” said Dean. “I am hoping that there will be different ideas that he can use because he has coached at a different level to the Championship. It always helps when you have different ideas and viewpoints and I am looking forward to working with him. I have met him three or four times already and he is really impressive with his ideas on the game, the way he talks about the game, and the feedback that we have got from other people. He will certainly add to what we have got already. After Tom Bates left we were left with just myself, Richard, Kevin O’Connor, and Alan Steele. We felt that we needed some more depth in there and some expertise which is what Thomas brings.”

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