Bees Head Coach reacts to Saturday’s 2-1 loss to The Magpies at Griffin Park
Dean Smith couldn’t fault his players after they gave it their all in yesterday’s 2-1 Sky Bet Championship defeat to Newcastle United. Rafa Benitez’ side took a first-half lead at Griffin Park thanks to Dwight Gayle’s fine individual run and finish but The Bees responded and levelled early on in the second-half when Lasse Vibe poked home. From then it was all Brentford but the visitors grabbed the winner with 11 minutes to play, Daryl Murphy rising to glance home Ayoze Perez’ teasing centre. Speaking after the game, Dean was in no doubt that his side deserved something from the game against the league leaders.
“We started slowly and were a little bit sideways and backwards, but credit to Newcastle United, they put us under a lot of pressure,” said Dean, speaking to Bees Player. “After that, we started to get on the ball, Josh McEachran orchestrated things, and for the rest of the first-half I thought it was only going to be us who scored the next goal. They looked a threat on the counter-attack but my team-talk at half-time was don’t change because I could see the confidence and the belief in the players. We got the early goal from a set-piece, which I thought we looked dangerous from. I was really pleased that Lasse Vibe scored because I thought he made some great runs in the first-half that their keeper made some great saves from him. He was so close to a second with a great chip that hit the post and rolled across the line. I thought there was only going to be one team to win it but they put a great ball into the box, on a rare attack in the second-half, and scored. We had three blatant penalty shouts not given which is normal service resumed when it comes to that. It is frustrating and disappointing to lose because I thought we were excellent.”
Saturday’s match against The Magpies began a run which sees The Bees take on Chelsea in the Emirates FA Cup before league games against Aston Villa, Brighton and Hove Albion, and Reading all in the next month. The Bees have one of the youngest squads in the Sky Bet Championship and Dean feels these high profile games give his team have a chance to show off their potential to the rest of the league.
“I thought we were excellent and I am proud of the players today,” said Dean. “We are a young squad and there are a lot of mouth-watering fixtures coming up. The word potential gets thrown out a lot but we have an opportunity now, with four or five mouth-watering games coming up, to perform to that potential and I thought today we did that. The supporters clapped us off at the end because they saw a team that will probably get promoted, given the resources that they have, hanging on in the last 20 minutes.”
One player missing from Saturday’s line-up was in-demand striker Scott Hogan who remained on the bench throughout. Dean confirmed that offers had been received for the 14-goal striker and revealed that the decision to leave him out of the staring XI was done with the long-term interests of the club in mind.
“There is speculation about him and we have had offers, but the valuation hasn’t been met yet,” Dean conceded. “I made the decision not to start him today because, for the long-term interests of the football club, I wanted to keep trust in the players who did ever so well last week. That is not to say that Scott is going, if he is still here next weekend then it is his intention to play. However, if he does end up going, and it is close I believe, then the decision was made for me. I explained my decision to Scott before I named the team and he understood it. As the game went on I didn’t think it was right to bring Scott on.”
Due to technical issues there is unfortunately no video with this interview.