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Interviews

Dean Smith on 'showing a bit of resilience'

Head Coach reflects on a comeback victory in Milton Keynes

26 July 2017

Head Coach Dean Smith gave his immediate reaction after getting a tough win at MK Dons. He spoke abo squad rotation, pre-season and the first day of the 2017/18 campaign.

"We were showing a bit of resilience," said Dean. "It's another side of the game that you need. We felt we were in control of the game from start to finish. We started well, made some mistakes - for the goal, as well as other mistakes in the first half. I don't mind mistakes, this is the time to do it, but I felt that we didn't react as well as we should have.

"We were good on the ball, we moved it well enough. In the second half, I thought it was more of a team performance. The lads got together a bit more; if somebody made a mistake, someone else looked after them. That's what I said to them at half time and it's what I wanted."

Neal Maupay and Ollie Watkins were on target for the first time in Bees shirts, something Dean was confident will happen more often as the season goes on.

"They've all settled in really well," said Dean. "You saw Ollie Watkins [tonight], who can play in a number of positions, and he looks a hell of a player. We saw what he can do.

"It was also good to see Neal Maupay get his goal as well. You can see that he goes in behind, Harlee put a couple of balls over the top when we stretched them and he got on the end of them. I didn't think we used him as much as we should have in the first 15-20 minutes and he's still learning what we want from him. We've got some very talented players that we have recruited and we're pleased."

There is now one more friendly at Griffin Park before the opening day at Sheffield United. Dean seems to believe that most of pre-season has gone to plan but wants to see his side through Saturday's match.

He said: "Six of the players in the squad got 90 minutes tonight, which was really pleasing. You can plan for these games in pre-season and plan for the minutes but it doesn't always come to fruition.

"It went to plan, five players came off, and hopefully we can get another five or six 90 minutes on Saturday when we play Celta Vigo, which will be a difficult test. They are a well established European team with experience in the Europa League so it will be a big test for us. It is one we are looking forward to."


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