Brentford Head Coach looks ahead to our Good Friday clash at Griffin Park
Dean Smith is confident that his maturing group can bounce back from last Saturday’s defeat against Cardiff City when Play-Off chasing Derby County head to Griffin Park on Good Friday. The Bees were beaten 2-1 in South Wales last time out to end a run of three straight league wins. With the in-form Rams heading to West London this weekend, Dean is confident his side can bounce back and re-discover the form which saw them record wins over Burton Albion, Bristol City, and Leeds United.
Speaking to Bees Player ahead of the match, Dean said: “We are disappointed but we are also aware of what we have been doing before that. It is about getting back to the standards that we have set previously. We have dealt with adversity really well and it is something that you have to do as a footballer: you are going to make mistakes in a game, concede goals, and lose games. You are trying your hardest to eliminate those mistakes and win more games than you lose to be successful and consistent. We have got a lot better at dealing with that adversity and I think that is down to the maturation of the players. There is a quality young group of players here. We are an emerging team and if we stay together, and keep playing the way that we do, then those losses will get less.”
Gary Rowett took charge at the iPro Stadium last month and has guided Derby County to ten points from four games, leaving them with an outside chance of the Play-Offs. Rowett masterminded Birmingham City’s 2-1 win at Griffin Park in November, shortly before being sacked at St Andrew’s, with Dean expecting another tough afternoon against a good team on Friday.
“Gary Rowett went in there four games ago and is unbeaten since,” said Dean. “They are a good team and they have got good players. They have got a top six budget and a top six squad. Gary was very unfortunate to lose his job at Birmingham City so he will have enjoyed that last minute winner last week. Gary did well at Birmingham and, with the players that he has got now at Derby, we know that they are going to be a danger. They will be looking to win the game but they will also be aware of the dangers which we possess as well. Gary beat us 2-1 with Birmingham City earlier in the season but we were outstanding on the day and should have won comfortably. He knows the dangers of coming and opening up against us. I certainly feel that it will be an entertaining game.”
Dean revealed that he will be without Josh McEachran and Andreas Bjelland for Friday’s game as the pair close in on a return from injury. At the end of a long season, Dean has rotated his side in recent weeks and admitted he has been pleased with what he has seen from some of his fringe players.
“Physically they are looking well,” revealed Dean. “Josh McEachran has just got out on the grass which is good but he is not available for this weekend. Andreas Bjelland is back training with us but he won’t make the game on Friday although hopefully will be in contention for Monday. Yoann Barbet hasn’t had a lot of minutes at centre-half this season such has been the form of Andreas Bjelland, John Egan, and Harlee Dean but he has come in the team and won three out of four. Likewise Konstantin Kerschbaumer has had a spell in team. I changed things around a bit recently in there to give some people a rest. I have got options throughout the team at the moment. I have Florian Jozefzoon waiting in the wings ready for Jota or Sergi Canos to not play to their normal standard. They can come in and that is what you need to be a consistent winning team.”
Tickets for Friday's match are on General Sale now priced at £23 adults, £17 Juniors, £15 Young Persons, and £6 Juniors. Make sure you get your ticket before 10am on Friday to save £5 on the matchday price. Click here to buy online.