Brentford Head Coach Dean Smith was a very happy man at full-time this afternoon as The Bees made it nine points from nine over the Christmas period. Goals from Lasse Vibe and Florian Jozefzoon ensured that the side followed up victories over Norwich City and Aston Villa with another three points this afternoon against Sheffield Wednesday. The victory means that The Bees will head into 2018 tenth in the Sky Bet Championship, just four points off the top six.
Speaking to iFollow Brentford after the game, Dean said: “It has been a great Christmas, performance and result wise. I thought today was our best over the Christmas period. We’ve had three tough games and I thought today was a complete performance. We didn’t take our foot off the gas. We started a little bit slowly but that’s credit to Sheffield Wednesday. From when we got the goal it was one-way traffic. The only fear was that we hadn’t put the game to bed a little bit earlier but our game management has been excellent recently and I thought we controlled the tempo.”
The match was a bit of a slow-burner to begin with as both sides struggled to control the game. However, that all changed after 20 minutes as Lasse Vibe capped off a flowing Brentford move to net his sixth of the season, and sixth in his last five outings. Dean felt his side really built on the advantage the goal gave them and was full of praise for the scorer’s contribution.
“What a goal,” admitted Dean. “It started from Daniel Bentley playing it out from the back, playing through them, and down the side before Lasse does what he does best. He skips inside the lad, gives the goalkeeper the eyes, and puts it into the bottom corner. It was a really good finish. I thought that gave us a lift and we played with a lot of confidence today. Lasse looks bright. His link-up play has got better and he looks fitter. He scored a super goal for us and his knowledge and runs make life very difficult for the opposition.”
This afternoon’s game also means The Bees have restricted Norwich City, Aston Villa, and Sheffield Wednesday to just two goals in their three Christmas matches, despite their attacking riches. The Owls' only shot on target was a tame Adthe Nuhiu header which Daniel Bentley easily claimed in the first-half. Despite the goals and the win, Dean admitted he was most pleased with the way that his side blunted the visitors attacking threat.
“Against the calibre of side that Sheffield Wednesday are, that is the pleasing thing,” Dean remarked, when talking about the clean sheet. “Without the ball, we were very good and that was something we asked the players to do. I wanted us to press a little bit higher and counter-press when we lost the ball. By doing that I thought we played a large amount of the game in their half and protected our goalkeeper really well. Norwich City, Aston Villa, and Sheffield Wednesday are big clubs because of where they have been and the size of their support but they are just Championship teams. Each game that we play is going to be tough but we are side who we feel can compete with anyone.”