Dean Smith on Brentford’s 4-2 victory over Rotherham United
Brentford Head Coach Dean Smith felt it was a tale of two halves as The Bees left it late to get the better of Rotherham United at Griffin Park this afternoon. It all looked to be going to plan against the Sky Bet Championship’s bottom side as Jota swept The Bees into a first-half lead. However, The Millers equalised twice in the second-half, either side of Nico Yennaris’s close range finish, and looked to be leaving West London with only a second away point of the season until Jota struck twice more in injury time to seal the victory.
Speaking to Bees Player after the game, Dean said: “I didn’t see the end of that coming, that is for sure. It is great to get the win but we would like to win in better ways. I thought that we were in total control in the first-half. We deservedly took the lead and could have scored more. I spoke at half-time about not taking the foot off the pedal because one goal isn’t game over. For the first 15 minutes of the second-half we were good but it was maybe a little bit too possession based rather than penetrative. We spoke about not giving away free-kicks to give them the opportunity to get the ball in the box but we didn’t do that well enough. Today there was an expectancy because of the position that Rotherham are in. You have to deal with that and I thought in the first-half we dealt with that terrifically. In the second-half we weren’t as good as we should have been. When they started chasing the game in the second-half it opened up a bit more and that helped us.”
After Rotherham equalised with three minutes to play it was Jota who turned out to be The Bees saviour in added time. Firstly, he fired home from the penalty spot after Semi Ajayi had handled and then he capitalised on a loose ball inside the Rotherham box to poke home after Sergi Canos had been denied. It’s now six goals and three assists for The Spaniard in his last seven games and Dean feels he is right at the top of his game currently.
“Now I know why it is Jota in the last minute,” said Dean.” I am really pleased for him because he has been a delight to have back. He is an exceptional player with great balance and technique and he is a goalscorer. I can see why he is loved here. He works very hard for the team and sometimes that can go unnoticed for the team. He is not a natural defender but he works at it and is getting better. When he is on the ball and in full flight his balance is a joy to watch.”
Brentford’s last 11 games in all competitions have produced 49 goals with The Bees notching 26 of them. While Dean admits that he would like his side to be tighter at the back he insists that he isn’t going to sacrifice their attacking intents any time soon.
“We are giving away too many chances,” said Dean. “That is something that has to be better. Our rest defending in the first-half was very good: any clearance that came out was picked up by Ryan Woods or one of our centre-halves. In the second-half it wasn’t as good and that is what we have to get better at. As a former defender I don’t like seeing goals going in but I like entertainment because the fans are used to entertainment here. We are not a team that is going to try to not lose: we are a team that wants to win and sometimes you have to take a hit for that.”