Head Coach on tonight’s 2-0 win over Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road
Dean Smith believes that tonight’s 2-0 win over Queens Park Rangers has set a standard that his Brentford team must match moving forward. The Bees secured a first win at Loftus Road since 1964 thanks to a goals either side of the break from Josh Clarke and Romaine Sawyers. The two goal victory was no less than Dean’s side deserved after an excellent all-round performance which The Bees boss wants to become the benchmark.
“It was one for the supporters tonight,” said Dean, speaking to Bees Player after the match. “I know how sore it was losing last season here but it’s a great night tonight. They can celebrate and it was a top performance. First-half I thought we were outstanding and we made a good team look average. They are not average, it was just the way that we played. We have set a standard now and we need to make sure that we are up to that next week. We will have a good week’s training, work hard, and come up with a gameplan like we did tonight. If we could win two games on the spin against our local rivals it would be fantastic.”
The Bees had a number of chances in the first-half to take the lead with Sawyers being denied by Alex Smithies in the home goal while Clarke and Scott Hogan also went close. The opening goal did eventually come three minutes before the break when Clarke fired under Smithies after collecting Josh McEachran’s through ball.
“It was important to get the goal because we had had a few chances and you were hoping that it wasn’t going to be one of those games where you create a lot of chances but don’t actually take them,” said Dean. “I was really pleased with Josh Clarke’s performance tonight. It was a super finish and great play by Josh McEachran playing in the tight. That was how good Josh McEachran can be tonight. The kid knows what a talent he is and we keep onto him. He has got better: he is in the gym every day and he is working extra after training. That is what he has to keep on doing to be consistent.”
After the break Queens Park Rangers started the stronger but couldn’t find a way through a Brentford backline that has now kept seven clean sheets in 15 league matches this campaign. Dean was full of praise for the way which his side coped with Rangers attacking play, in particular, their desire to try and win the ball back as quickly as possible.
“We had to weather the storm, which we did, and I thought we had four warriors at the back who I thought were excellent," said Dean. "That’s seven clean sheets now which shows that we have got a good record, a good defensive shape, and players who will work hard. The biggest thing for me was our intensity in winning the ball back in the first-half. I sometimes accept how good we are on the ball because we have really good footballers and the speed we moved the ball was excellent. However, how well we won the ball back was excellent.”
The points were wrapped up with just over 15 minutes to play as Romaine netted his first goal in a Brentford shirt, latching onto Maxime Colin’s cutback to fire home first time from 15 yards. Dean was delighted for Romaine to get off the mark especially given how things had gone for the attacker last time out against Barnsley.
“I am chuffed for Romaine because I felt he got a little bit harshly treated on Saturday but that was more frustration at how the game was going at the time rather than Romaine himself,” said Dean. “He has certainly put himself in fans’ fokelore tonight with a goal against the local rivals and I am really chuffed for him. The players can see how much it meant to him. The support here was fantastic: the fans were singing all night and they will go home very happy indeed.”
The only blot on an otherwise perfect night for Dean and The Bees was a serious looking knee injury to Lewis Macleod late on. While the full extent of the injury is not known yet, Dean is hoping that it is not as bad as first feared.
“I am not sure about Lewis; he will be with the medical people,” said Dean. “He felt a click in his knee which is not good. We all know he has had a number of months out injured before. He is such a talented player so it will be unfortunate if it is a long-term injury. I don’t know what it might be but I am hoping that it is a short one.”