Brentford Head Coach previews Saturday’s London derby against Charlton Athletic
Dean Smith is targeting a strong end to the season and he tries to bring that winning mentality back to Griffin Park. The Bees have won only once in their last six matches following Saturday’s 2-1 reversal against Rotherham United at The New York Stadium. Ahead of the weekend’s London derby with Charlton Athletic, Dean said the only target for the team between now and the end of the season is to win as many matches as possible.
“We don’t want to target this or that but our aim is just to finish as high as we can and to win as many games as we can,” said Dean. “Results wise it hasn’t been great over the last seven or eight. Some of our performances have probably warranted more and some of the performances have warranted exactly what we have got. It is important that we concentrate on our performances and go into games, particularly when there is a lot at stake at home, full of confidence, and get that winning mentality back.”
Standing in The Bees way on Saturday is a Charlton Athletic side that are currently bottom of the Sky Bet Championship, seven points from safety, after a run of just one win in 18 games in all competitions. Dean is excited by his first home London derby as Brentford manager and added that his side need to focus on their game and make sure they start brightly to put The Addicks under early pressure.
“Charlton are having a tough time of it at the moment,” said Dean. “They have some good players there but they are fighting for their lives. It is a London derby and one I am looking forward to as well. It will be my first home London derby. I enjoyed the atmosphere at Fulham earlier in the season and now we have two on the spin in Charlton and Queens Park Rangers. I have been talking to the players about doing what they did against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the last home game. Our home performances have been ok and the performances against Wolves was very good. Our influence has to be totally on ourselves. That is what we did against Wolves and played really well. Our concentration levels will be about working on what we do. We will analyse Charlton and talk about them but it is very much about what we do and how we do it.”
There has been mixed news on the injury front this week with the Brentford boss confirming that Maxime Colin will miss out on Saturday’s match due to injury but that Alan McCormack would be back in contention for a place on the bench. The Bees were further boosted this week as Scott Hogan came through an hour on his return from 18 months out with a knee injury. Dean said it was great to see Scott back but warned that he the striker won’t be rushed back after such a long time out.
“Maxime Colin is still out,” said Dean. “He has been to see a consultant and had a course of injections that we hope can cure him. If not it might be the surgical route which we don’t want because that might put him out for the rest of the season. Alan McCormack has had a full week training with us which is pleasing. He is not in contention to start the game because he hasn’t played since Walsall. He will be fighting for a squad position and a position on the bench. It is nice to have him back and to see Scott Hogan get the minutes under his belt.
“Scott will play in the game on Monday as well. It was great to see him back in action after 18 months out and it is really pleasing that it was a scoring return. He had worked really hard in training and he deserves to get on the pitch now. I think he needs another couple of games at least until he is nearly ready for the first-team squad. If you ask Scott now he will say that he is ready but I think I would as well if I had had the time he has had. I have to speak to the medical department and be guided by them because he has had such a severe couple of injuries in 18 months.”
Bees Player subscribers can watch the full interview with Dean below