Bees Head Coach Dean Smith has a tough job to pick Saturday’s starting XI for the visit to Sheffield United according to defender John Egan. Brentford registered four wins and two draws during an unbeaten pre-season and John feels the whole squad is ready and raring to go ahead of the big kick-off this weekend.
“The mood is brilliant: we’ve had a good pre-season,” John told iFollow Brentford. “All the lads are looking sharp and the competition for places is higher than ever. Everybody is really looking forward to the season now. The new lads come in and want to impress and the lads who have been here before want to impress too. The lads who have come in are good characters and have worked hard. Everyone has done really well so far in pre-season and it is up to us to make it a hard decision for Dean to pick the team which can only be good for the club.”
The Bees get the season underway this Saturday with a trip to last year’s runaway League One Champions Sheffield United at Bramall Lane. The Blades lost just three times at home on their way to the title in May and John is expecting them to come out all guns blazing for their first home game back in the Championship since 2011.
“They have flirted with promotion for the last few years in League One and now they have finally got it,” said John. “They are going to be confident after a season where they have won a lot of games. There will be a feel-good factor and they will be up for their first game at home in the Championship. We have to go there and fight fire with fire. We expect it to be a tough game but if we perform as we can then there’s no reason why we should fear going up there.”
John and the rest of the Brentford squad have set their sights on improving upon last season’s tenth placed finish this time round. The 24-year-old defender believes that the players are there to do better than last season but believes it will all come down to consistency over the long Championship campaign.
“We have quality players all over the park,” said John. “We showed last season, maybe not as consistently as we would have liked, that we could compete with anyone. This season the squad is even stronger. If we can get that consistency into the squad then there’s no reason why we can’t be up there. The secret to consistency is simple: you have to turn up every week, give 100 per cent and try to win the game. In a 46 game season you need to turn up every week and be on your game. You have to take it game by game, try to get the win, and once it is done look forward to the next one. The whole club wants to get promoted and I am no different. If we can get a bit of momentum, we can see where it takes us.”