Brentford Head Coach Dean Smith has called on his side to be more clinical after The Bees needed extra-time to beat Sky Bet League One side AFC Wimbledon at The Cherry Red Records Stadium on Tuesday night. Paul Robinson’s looping effort gave The Dons a first-half advantage before Romaine Sawyers levelled with a fine effort 20 minutes from time. In extra-time Ollie Watkins and Justin Shaibu both netted as The Bees secured a deserved, but hard-fought, passing into Round Two.
“We made hard work of it because we didn’t take our chances,” said Dean, speaking to iFollow Brentford after the game. “We were in control of the game but probably didn’t work the keeper enough in the first-half. I felt we tried to walk it in at times and score the perfect goal when we had opportunities to take the shot. In terms of the football, attitude, and application we were top drawer. They scored a very fortunate goal with a shot that hit the bar and post and went in. We were disappointed to go in 1-0 down at half-time but we have to take our chances better to kill off the opposition.”
Dean rung the changes for the trip to South London with only Kamohelo Mokotjo retaining his place following Saturday’s 1-0 Sky Bet Championship defeat to Sheffield United. Despite the number of changes, Dean was really pleased with the quality of side he was able to put out and said they have given him food for thought ahead of Saturday’s home game against Nottingham Forest.
“We made ten changes today from the first game of the season as we had a lot of tough games in pre-season,” Dean admitted. “Today was the chance for everyone else to get a game and they certainly didn’t disappoint. I thought they moved the ball well and looked a level above AFC Wimbledon at times. They have given me a test for Saturday, not just for the XI but for the subs as well. Harlee Dean is back which is good and it was great for the young lads to get a start to today. I though Ilias Chatzitheodoridis did really well until he cramped up and it was nice for Justin Shaibu to get off the mark.”
The Bees were backed by more than 1,400 travelling fans at The Cherry Red Records Stadium as they progressed to Round Two for the first time in three years. Dean was thankful for the fans support and he hopes it can be rewarded with a good cup run.
“I could hear the supporters saying they wanted a cup run,” said Dean. “It is nice to get through to the next round. I look at the strength of the squad and, when you compare where we are tonight with the team we put out at Exeter City last season, I am really pleased with where we are as a football club. It was fantastic backing tonight and being so close to them the banter was very good. They have some very good songs I must say.”