Bees Head Coach looking forward to getting back to Griffin Park for the visit of Barnsley on Saturday
After tough away trips to Newcastle United and Derby County this week, Dean Smith is looking forward to the comforts of home as Barnsley visit Griffin Park on Saturday afternoon. The Bees were beaten 3-1 by Newcastle United last Saturday and followed that up with a hard-fought 0-0 draw at Derby County on Tuesday night to remain in eighth place, two points outside the top six. Now, ahead of their first home game in three weeks, Dean is looking forward to a return to Griffin Park but admits he won’t be taking The Tykes lightly.
“They were two very difficult fixtures, both away from home,” said Dean, speaking to Bees Player ahead of the match. “It is nice to come back home; it feels like a long time since we were last there for the Wigan Athletic game. We have a really good record at home. This week has been a test of our credentials. We slipped up at Newcastle but showed what we are about on Tuesday night and we need to do that again now for Barnsley. They started the season really bright but have hit a poor run of results at the moment. They had a right go at Newcastle United on Tuesday night only to lose 2-0 themselves. We know that they will come and give a good account of themselves and we have to be at our best.”
Barnsley were among the early season pace-setters, taking 15 points from their opening seven matches, although they have added just one point to that tally in their last six matches to sink into the bottom half of the Sky Bet Championship table. Only the top two of Newcastle United and Norwich City have scored more goals that Paul Heckingbottom’s side in the league this season and Dean doesn’t expect them to abandon their attacking mentality ahead of Saturday’s meeting.
“I saw a lot of them last season and Paul Heckingbottom did an unbelievable job in doing the double last season,” said Dean. “He will have his team ready for this game: they will be disciplined and organised but they will have an attacking threat on both flanks and with the two forwards. We will have to be at our defensive best but also we need to be a threat at the other end as well. Barnsley will come to win the game. It is not in their nature to sit back. They have played two forwards for most of the season and I would be surprised if they changed that. They were one of the biggest scorers in the league after six or seven games and they will come for us, that’s for sure. We have to make sure that we are at our defensive best but also that we are a threat at the other end.”
Harlee Dean’s suspension on Tuesday night saw him drop out of the Brentford starting XI for the first time this season. With the new partnership of Andreas Bjelland and John Egan keeping a clean sheet at The iPro Stadium, Dean said there was no guarantee that Harlee would come straight back into the team. The Bees boss revealed that Lasse Vibe and Alan McCormack were likely to miss the game but remained pleased with the options at his disposal.
“Harlee missed the game on Tuesday night so I have to make a decision on whether to bring him back or stay with the four who played on Tuesday night,” said Dean. “Lasse Vibe will probably miss Saturday but he might be back for the QPR game which will be great news for us. Callum Elder is back running out on the pitch so he will be in contention soon as well. Alan McCormack just felt his groin which has been a recurrent theme for him over the last few months. He felt that after the Newcastle game and we are just waiting for the results of a scan on that. It is great to have options. We made a few changes on Tuesday night as I felt it was needed in the wide areas. Sullay Kaikai and Sam Saunders came in and did a good job for us. You need that strength in depth to rotate a few of them, especially when you’ve got three tough games in a week.”