Brentford Head Coach Dean Smith on this afternoon’s 3-3 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion
Dean Smith said that the disappointment of conceding a 97th minute equaliser to title-chasing Brighton and Hove Albion shouldn’t overshadow what was, in The Bees’ Head Coach’s eyes, a very good performance from his side at Griffin Park this afternoon. Brentford led 2-0 at the break thanks to goals from Jota and Harlee Dean, and had a chance to make it 3-0 on the hour: Lasse Vibe seeing a penalty saved by David Stockdale. However, Chris Hughton’s side struck twice in three minutes late on, and then in the seventh minute of added time, after Konstantin Kerschbaumer’s first Brentford goal had made it 3-2, to leave West London with a point.
“There is the disappointment of conceding in the last minute but there were a lot of good performances out there,” said Dean, speaking to Bees Player after the game. “For long periods we looked really good and the first-half there was some good football following on from Tuesday night. There were some really good performances and we can’t forget that, yet it is disappointing. I thought they came at us the first five minutes of the second-half and we weathered the storm. Jota then goes on a great run and wins us a penalty that the keeper managers to deflect over. From being 2-0 up and looking comfortable you are only looking at a point on the board. We made some positive substitutions and I was really pleased for Konstantin Kerschbaumer to get his first goal for the club. It was a great one-two on the edge of the box and a great finish. We broke again and thought that we could have scored another to make it 4-2. Unfortunately the referee has found seven minutes from somewhere and they have scored in the seventh.”
Against a side that had only been beaten four times in the Sky Bet Championship before today it was the duo of Josh McEachran and Jota who caused Chris Hughton’s men the most issues. The Spainish winger’s cheeky flick put The Bees ahead and he was involved in the second, and the incident that led to Brentford’s penalty, with McEachran’s passing range constantly probing for gaps in The Seagulls' backline.
“When Josh McEachran controls the ball like that he looks like a hell of a player and a player above this level,” said Dean. “What he has to do is maintain his performance levels. I thought Jota was outstanding today. The run to win the penalty was what supporters have come to see from him over the last few years. He looks really hungry. He scored a goal today and could probably have had a couple more.”
Since losing 14-goal striker Scott Hogan to Aston Villa on Tuesday's Transfer Deadline Day, The Bees have notched up six goals, from five different scorers in their last two matches. While Dean admits that Hogan was a bit of a talisman he is really pleased with the attacking balance that he now has at his disposal.
“Players have always taken responsibility for scoring goals,” said Dean. “However, because of how Scott Hogan did at the end of last season and the start of this season he became a bit of a talisman for us. He is a really good goalscorer and we played to his strengths where we could. We haven’t got a Scott Hogan but we have a Lasse Vibe who played ever so well. I am disappointed that he didn’t score today because he deserved it. As a team we are a good attacking unit now and we have brought an added dimension now with Florian Jozefzoon and Sergi Canos coming into the team.”