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“We got out-battled today”

21 January 2017

Brentford Head Coach Dean Smith on this afternoon’s 2-1 defeat to Wigan Athletic and the future of Scott Hogan

Dean Smith felt his team needed to do the ugly side of the game far better as Wigan Athletic took the three points at the DW Stadium this afternoon. Sam Morsy fired the hosts ahead just before the half-hour and that advantage was doubled four minutes later as Harlee Dean deflected Morsy’s shot past Dan Bentley from close range. The Bees saw plenty of the ball in the second-half but had to wait until the final five minutes to get any reward, Jota bundling home his first goal of the season.

Speaking after the game to Bees Player, Dean said: “We never played anywhere near our capabilities. We are a good footballing team but sometimes you have to come and battle. I felt that we got out-battled today. The other side of the game is winning second balls and competing and they did that better than us today. They did their job on us: they got in our faces, stopped us playing, and we didn’t pass the ball well enough to get the better of that. In the last 15 minutes we had to go longer and hit Philipp Hofmann to try and win the second ball. We got our goal from doing that. Sometimes you have to go and mix it up because teams aren’t going to let you play and we need to learn that.”

The home side’s opening goal came as Morsy picked up the ball in the midfield, turned away from two Bees players and fired into the corner while the second owed much to a succession of missed tackles in the Brentford backline. The nature of the two Wigan goals frustrated Dean who felt his team were the architects of their own downfall.

“We controlled the game in the first 15 minutes but never got in behind them: they went man for man and tried to stop us playing in behind them,” said Dean. “For me we should have been more patient and kept doing what we were doing. Instead we gave them the upper hand and started getting frustrated because we weren’t getting anywhere. When you do that then any team in this league can punish you. We gave two really sloppy goals away. We had the warning when Michael Jacobs cut inside and hit the post. They got the other side of our midfield, we never got out to them quick enough and they scored the first goal. For the second goal we missed four tackles and they went and scored the goal.”

Dean was again without the services of top scorer Scott Hogan who pulled out of the matchday squad due to injury. The Bees Head Coach revealed that a further bid for the 14-goal striker was expected and that played a part in his absence from this afternoon’s matchday 18.

“Scott Hogan has trained all week with us but had a tight hamstring yesterday,” said Dean. “He had a phone call last night that has turned his head as there is a bid coming imminently. I have spoken to him and it is not the kid’s fault: he wants to play football but he doesn’t want to risk getting injured. I fully understand that but I think if he has a tight hamstring in February he plays. He is being starved of playing football at the moment when he wants to play. For me the transfer window has to be looked at as you can’t have speculation preventing you picking your best team. All across the leagues that has been happening. I don’t know if it is player power or agent power but it is very frustrating when you want to pick your best team but can’t because of outside influences. Scott is a genuine lad and really wants to play. He had a whack in the back on Tuesday but came back and trained on Thursday. I understand him not wanting to risk it but getting phone calls the night before the game is not the best way to go about it.”

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