Brentford Head Coach Dean Smith has been encouraged by his side’s unbeaten pre-season campaign after they wrapped it up with a 2-1 win over last season’s Europa League Semi-Finalists Celta Vigo at Griffin Park. Lasse Vibe and Jota were on target for The Bees during an impressive first-half display on a wet afternoon in West London. John Guidetti pulled one back for an improved Celta after the break but Dean’s side saw out the game to end their pre-season with four wins and two draws from six games.
“It was a very tough game and a very different game to what we would normally play against,” Dean told iFollow Brentford after the game. “It was a very technical and tactical game. I thought we were very good defensively at times and restricted them to few chances. It was a good game for us. The first-half was two matches in one for us. When they got the ball, we had to pick our moments when to press and played very deep, which we spoke about in training. When we got the ball, they did the same to us. We got two great goals and it was a good run-out for us. The first 20 minutes of the second-half they were on top as we started a bit slowly but we became better when we made the changes.”
It's been a tough prelude to the season for The Bees with six games and five weeks of non-stop training since they returned to Jersey Road in late June. From Aldershot to Lausanne and on to Oxford, Milton Keynes, and finally back to Griffin Park, Dean has been really pleased with how his group has come through their pre-season work.
“It gives me a lot of confidence,” said Dean. “The players have been very good. I thanked them yesterday for their efforts in pre-season because it has been tough for them. They haven’t had many days off and they have worked very hard. It is that hard work which will pay dividends throughout the season. It would have been nice to have kept at least one clean sheet in pre-season. However, we remained unbeaten which was pleasing, especially given the calibre of opposition we have played against, and that will hold us in good stead.”
Attention now turns to next Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship opener against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane. Dean admits he doesn’t know have a concrete 11 decided on yet but added that it is a good problem to have with so many players pushing for their spot in the starting line-up.
“I don’t know the 11 at the moment,” said Dean. “That will start coming to me on Monday or Tuesday when we start building for the game. All-in-all, I am quite pleased with how the players have done. They have got an equal number of minutes and that gives me the trouble to go and pick the team for next week. We are all ready for next week and that is what we are geared up to. It’s not just next Saturday though. We have a possible seven game month and that is what you need the squad for. You are only playing for three points on that first game and there are a lot of points available over that first month.”