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Dean Smith on ‘excellent’ win over Aston Villa

1 February 2017

Bees Head Coach reflects on Tuesday’s 3-0 victory at Griffin Park

Dean Smith was full of praise for his players after they secured the three points with a well-deserved 3-0 win over Aston Villa at Griffin Park on Tuesday night. Lasse Vibe was on target twice, either side of Nico Yennaris’ close range finish, as The Bees dominated in front of the Sky Sports Cameras. Speaking after the game, Dean said he was particularly pleased with some of the football his side played.

“It was very satisfying because I thought that we were excellent apart from the first ten minutes,” Dean told Bees Player post-match. “However, we moved Nico Yennaris a little bit higher and Josh McEachran moved up five yards and that stopped them getting on the ball. We took over the game ourselves then, got on the ball, and got the deserved goal. From then on I thought we were excellent and thoroughly deserved it. Lasse Vibe has made a great run, got in behind, and dinked it over the keeper. Nico Yennaris made a great deep run and we found him to score too. At times some of our play was exquisite. Our passing between the lines was excellent.”

Following the arrival of Dutch winger Florian Jozefzoon last week, Dean switched to a 4-3-3 formation for the visit of Steve Bruce’s side with Jota also coming in for his first start since returning. The Bees Head Coach is happy having the flexibility to play different styles and admitted that he was very impressed by the performances of both his wide men on Tuesday.

“I always had a plan to go and change the system tonight,” said Dean. “I thought it would be better against Aston Villa who play one up front. John Egan had 21 stitches in his ear so I felt it wasn’t right for him to play and the players made my decision easy tonight. I said when I first came that I like to use different systems. We have been playing three at the back more recently but we have brought in Florian Jozefzoon and we have Jota back. Now we have got an abundance of wide players which is what you need to play the 4-3-3. If you can do that then you have chances to create and we certainly did that tonight. For it to be Florian’s first taste of English football I thought he adapted really well. He works hard, is explosive, can go past people, and the defensive side of the game is good too. What can you say about Jota, his performance was excellent. He showed that he has 90 minutes in him but he just didn’t top it off with a goal like he normally does.”

The win over Villa also allowed Dean and the team to bounce back quickly from Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup exit at the hands of Chelsea. With promotion chasing Brighton and Hove Albion next up at Griffin Park this Sunday, Dean is keen to see tonight’s performance levels repeated when The Seagulls arrive in TW8.

“I have a lot of faith in these boys,” said Dean. “I had a feeling before the Brighton game that we were going to win and I expected us to win tonight. It is really important to back this up now. We have sent the supporters home happy. I understand their frustrations from Saturday but we were up against one of the top teams in the country, if not the world. There was talk about being beaten by Chelsea youngsters but we were a lot younger than them. Tonight we wanted to show what we were about and we did that.” 

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