Dean Smith feels his side will only get better for tonight’s entertaining 4-3 win over Oxford United at The Kassam Stadium.
An early Florian Jozefzoon header and Lasse Vibe’s crisp finish put The Bees in control inside the opening 30 minutes. However, Pep Clotet’s League One side then netted three times in 25 minutes, either side of the break, to take control of the game. Reece Cole came off the bench to thunder home a free-kick to make it 3-3 before Sergi Canos completed the comeback late on.
Speaking to iFollow Brentford after the game, Dean said: “It was a great run-out. I thought we controlled the ball and moved it really well. We are disappointed to concede the three goals. We want to reduce the chances against us and I felt that we made the chances for them. We certainly made a few mistakes to give them the goals, and we know that is something we have to get better at, but I would rather it happened today. It allows us now to reflect, review and go and work on it. That’s the longest the lads have played this pre-season and they will get better for it. Today was a training session to try things we have been doing on the training ground. We pressed very high and very well in the first-half and won the ball back. In the second-half we became more sloppy and Oxford were a lot more organised as well to be fair.”
Florian Jozefzoon’s opening goal owed much to the quality of cross provided by Spanish winger Jota. The 26-year-old has been subject of much transfer speculation this summer but Dean believes that his sole focus currently is on helping The Bees’ promotion bid this season.
“We have had no bid so there is no update at all,” said Dean. “We know how much affection he has for the football club. I fully understood that there was a bid coming in that hasn’t materialised yet. He is happy to be a Brentford player. He enjoys football and he enjoys Brentford. We all know that his ambitions are to play in the Premier League. If it doesn’t happen this pre-season then hopefully he can take us there.”
Dean was able to make nine changes in the second-half of this evening’s match as he gave most of his squad a run-out at The Kssam Stadium. The Bees boss also has summer signings Kamo Mokotjo, Neal Maupay, and Ollie Watkins to add to his numbers in the coming weeks as he predicts some serious competition for places ahead of the season opener at Sheffield United on 5 August.
“I am pleased with our acquisitions so credit has to go to our Directors of Football and recruitment team,” said Dean. “They are players that we have been looking at for a long time and we are delighted to get them over the line. It’s not just in terms of quantity but also in terms of quality. It is something that we are very pleased with. You can see in training that the mood is very serious. The players have got a lift but the players also don’t know who is going to play against Sheffield United, such is the quality of the squad we have got now.”