“You can say any name in the Championship and they are able to beat anyone: it is about whoever turns up on the day.”
Brentford captain Harlee Dean is looking to capitalise on Newcastle United’s recent indifferent form and gain revenge for October’s defeat when the two sides meet again at Griffin Park this weekend. The Magpies, who have won just one of their last four in all competitions, ran out comfortable 3-1 winners in the North East back in October but Harlee is hopeful of a different outcome this time round.
Speaking to Bees Player ahead of the match, Harlee said: “When we played them up there it was a tough game. They were good and we maybe weren’t so good but I think that was down to them being so good. We have to capitalise on their indifferent form at the moment and our good form to carry on how we are going. They have Premier League players all over the pitch so it is about us turning up and being 110 per cent on the day to hopefully get something. We can be at the game and pacify them but that’s not our way of playing. If we go and impose our game on them, get in their faces, and play our football it will be a good contest and hopefully we can come out on top.”
The Bees head into Saturday’s match having lost just once in seven matches and on the back of a convincing 5-1 victory over Eastleigh in the Emirates FA Cup Third Round last weekend. After a difficult run in October and November, Harlee feels that the pieces have fallen into place nicely in recent weeks but knows that The Bees can’t let up if they want to continue climbing the table.
“We felt that things were going well for a little while but we maybe didn’t get the results when we had the performances,” said Dean. “We have got the performances to back it up and progressed in the cup which is nice. We are confident in there and we are playing well. Thomas Frank said to me that we have maybe given away one big chance in each of the last seven games. We are doing alright and we are being clinical at the other end which is a good recipe. You can say any name in the Championship and they are able to beat anyone: it is about whoever turns up on the day. The gaffer is always drumming into us about consistency and making sure that every training day and match day you are the best that you can be because that is what you need to succeed in this league.”
Harlee has been involved in all but two games for The Bees this season after assuming the captaincy during the summer. However, with John Egan, Yoann Barbet, and Andreas Bjelland all fighting for a centre-back spot and Rico Henry and Callum Elder closing in on a return in the left-back role, Harlee knows he will have to be at his best to ensure he sees as much game time in the second-half of the campaign.
“It is good to have competition all over,” said Harlee. “Rico Henry has come in, looked sharp, and looks like a good player. He is fast and nippy and it will be good to get him in the matchday squad when he can take a bit of contact. We are now playing three centre-halves where before we were playing two with two missing out. If just drives people on. I know that my performances got better because I knew that somebody was breathing down my neck and I imagine it was the same for the other people. When you have got that depth it does drive people on to be better and that is what Dean and the coaching staff want.”