Dean Smith reflects on Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Cardiff City
Brentford Head Coach Dean Smith was left frustrated as a set-piece goal and Peter Whittingham’s late strike were the undoing of his side against Cardiff City at The Cardiff City Stadium this afternoon. The Bees took a deserved lead just before the break as Sergi Canos netted his fourth goal in as many games but the home side levelled two minutes after the break through centre-back Sean Morrison. The decisive goal came with 15 minutes to play as Whittingham slammed Kenneth Zohore’s knockdown home to end Brentford’s three game winning run.
“It was a case of us not finishing the game off in the first-half and of us being sloppy at the start of the second-half,” said Dean. “In the first-half we were in total control and I thought that we would go on and win the game two or three nil. I knew that they would get a teamtalk at half-time but we gave them a helping hand. We gave the ball away and they countered and won a soft corner. We then let them have a soft header in the box eight-yards out. We knew that they would be dangerous from set-pieces and that is how they got back into it. We have dealt with a lot of big teams in the last few weeks. We knew about Aron Gunnarsson’s long-throw and Sean Morrison in the box and I thought we dealt with it well in the first-half.”
After making it 1-1, it was Neil Warnock's side who had the better of the exchanges in the second-half before getting their second with a quarter of an hour to play. Dean feels that his side have been punished this season for allowing games to wander even though he couldn’t see anything wrong with Konstantin Kerschbaumer’s goal midway through the half.
“It is a crying shame that we came away with nothing today because we know, our team against their team, we should be getting at least a draw today,” said Dean. “That should hurt the players because we have been on a good run. It’s been an achilles heel this season, and something that has stopped the consistency, when we have a lull in the game like before their second goal. Once they scored it we upped our game and looked like we were going to score again. I have no idea why Konstantin Kerschbaumer’s goal was rubbed off: it looked a perfectly good goal. The referee blew his whistle as the ball hit the back of the net. I was told it was for handball but it was a little bit late. If that goes in then the course of the game changes.”
The Bees went into this afternoon’s game on the back of a three game winning run which had lifted them into the top half. Dean feels that run, which included victories over Burton Albion, Bristol City, and Leeds United, should have shown his side how good they can be when they get it together.
With Derby County up next, Dean said: “Derby have won again so it will be a tough game on Good Friday against a strong squad. We have to bounce back because we are disappointed by the result today. The three games previous to this have just whetted the players’ appetite about how good we could be as a team but when we get into positions like we did today we have to go on and win that game.”