Dean Smith looks ahead to Friday’s West London derby against QPR
Bees Head Coach Dean Smith expects Friday’s meeting between Brentford and Queens Park Rangers to be a typical derby affair but believes the side that keeps their discipline best will be the ones that come out on top. Brentford head to W12 looking for a first win at Loftus Road since 1964 and for revenge after last season’s 3-0 defeat to The R’s on the road. Speaking to Bees Player ahead of the match, Dean said his players were well aware of what the game meant to everybody connected with the two clubs but felt that keeping cool in the heat of battle would be the key.
“We always talk to the players about discipline and thinking smart when they are out on the football pitch,” said Dean. “It’s certainly more relevant when there is a local derby and there is an atmosphere from both sets of supporters who want to get the upper hand on the others. The discipline will be key and I think the team who keep their discipline best on the night, not only in terms of tackles but also with shape and style of play, will get the upper hand. You can’t take away from the competitiveness that will be there. Both sides will be going out there and looking to win. Both teams know that if you get the win you are just outside the Play-Offs and you are moving forward. They know what it means to the supporters and the staff at the Football Club and it is always nice to get bragging rights. Our players know that but they are very professional and very focussed and they are looking forward to the game.”
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink took over at Loftus Road a week after Dean arrived at Griffin Park last winter and had the upper hand when the two sides met in March at Loftus Road. While Dean’s admits that QPR will be a tough opponent, he believes his team is in much better shape than they were the last time they headed down the Uxbridge Road to W12.
“Jimmy went into QPR the same time that I did here so the QPR team will have all the hallmarks of Jimmy,” said Dean. “They will be ultra-competitive; his teams always are. We feel we are much better equipped this season to go to Loftus Road and be competitive, have a good shape, be well organised, and have a number of threats who can score goals. We played them when we probably weren’t having our best spell towards the back end of the season. They scored a couple of good goals which made it very difficult for us. We were missing a few players as well but here we are going without injuries, a lot of key players are fit and ready to play, and we are looking forward to it. They look hard to beat and their results in the last five or six games show that they are. They narrowly got beaten by Sheffield Wednesday who I feel are one of the best teams we have played this season. We know that it is going to be a tough ask.”
Victory for either side in front of the Sky Cameras on Friday night will leave them a point outside the top six ahead of the Saturday kick-offs. Despite going four without a win, Dean feels The Bees are a top six side in the making and wants victory at Loftus Road to be the start of a more consistent run of form to cement The Bees amongst the Play-Off challengers.
“How we have played this season the top six is where we think we should be,” said Dean. “We have been close in every game this season with the exception of the game against Newcastle and the first-half against Sheffield Wednesday. We have been ultra-competitive in every game; we have scored a couple of fives and fours this season. We have been very good and that is what we need to bring into the game on Friday. It is such a tight league and such a strong league this year. It is one of those leagues where you have to get on a run and it is very easy to do that. If you win one you can go and win two or three on the spin. That is what we have to do to get that consistency. We want to be a consistent team that gets results every week.”