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Dean Smith: “We gave them a helping hand with the goals”

19 November 2016

The Brentford Head Coach reflects on this afternoon’s 3-2 defeat to Blackburn Rovers

Dean Smith bemoaned defensive errors as Brentford suffered back-to-back league defeats for the first time this season after a 3-2 reversal at Ewood Park. Scott Hogan gave The Bees a perfect start with a goal inside a minute but Danny Graham struck twice in five minutes to put Rovers ahead midway through the half. Hogan grabbed his second on the half-hour but a Harlee Dean own-goal restored Blackburn’s advantage six minutes before the break. That proved to be the end of the scoring with Dean left disappointed with his side’s defending when he spoke to Bees Player after the game.

“They defended their box better than we did in the first-half and that was the difference,” said Dean. “We gave them a helping hand with the goals which isn’t like us: We went to ground and gave away a penalty after being done on a one-two; we got done on a second-phase corner where they overloaded the back post; and, John Egan went into a blind alley, gave the ball away, we didn’t delay, and then Harlee Dean couldn’t sort his feet out. To come here and play as well as we did means it is disappointing that we lost. The early goal should have settled us down but after that the game became a bit frantic. They were getting it up to Sam Gallagher and Danny Graham who were a constant threat. When we won it back, we gave it back which is unlike us. It wasn’t until we went 2-1 down that we started to put together some of the passing moves that we are capable of. That was illustrated by the second goal which was a super move and a super finish.”

The Bees dominated the second-half but found chances hard to come by as Blackburn defenders put their bodies on the line to protect their lead. Dean said he was happier with his side’s second-half performance but admitted Rovers’ deserved credit for the way they defended after the break.

“I fully expected us to go and score in the second-half with our movement and quality on the ball,” said Dean. “I spoke at half-time about being more patient on the ball as I felt we were a little bit rushed in looking for Scott Hogan, Josh Clarke, or Sullay Kaikai in the first-half. Second-half I felt we were a lot more patient on the ball but still moved it quickly. We always got our opposite centre-half out by playing triangles around their forwards and when we did that we got in and around their box. You have to give credit to their defenders because they put their bodies on the line. There were a lot of blocks when you thought that we were certain to score. I felt this was a place that we could come and score goals. Unfortunately, I didn’t expect us to concede the goals that we did.”

Next Saturday The Bees return to Griffin Park to host Gary Rowett’s Birmingham City with Dean saying that he wants to see a response after consecutive losses.

“Next week’s game takes on extra importance because, after back to back defeats, we have to bounce back,” said Dean. “If we put in a performance like we did in the second-half I will be ok with that because I am proud of them in the second-half. They worked their socks off and showed a lot of quality but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.”

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