Dean Smith believes that his players are starting to bring their training ground work into matches after this afternoon’s entertaining 2-2 draw at home to Southampton.
The Bees took a well-deserved lead five minutes before the break through Lasse Vibe, his third in three games this pre-season, but a Charlie Austin double after the interval put the Premier League side ahead. However, England goalkeeper Fraser Forster gifted Josh Clarke an equaliser late on to ensure Dean Smith’s side remain unbeaten this pre-season.
Speaking to iFollow Brentford after the game, Dean said: “I learned a lot of things today: I thought it was a good game against a good team. First-half we played really well. We showed a good shape about us and the lads were taking into the game the things we had been doing in training. We went in at half-time very pleased with the level of the performance. They upped it second-half and, for the first 15 minutes we didn’t work hard enough to get on the ball. Whether it was a little bit of tiredness, or them, I’m not sure. When we made the substitutions we certainly got back into the game.”
The Bees first home pre-season game of the season gave the Griffin Park faithful a first chance to see four of the summer recruits, Kamo Mokotjo, Henrik Dalsgaard, Neal Maupay, and Ollie Watkins, in action. Dean was pleased to be able to give them a run-out and feels they have all settled in very well to the group thus far.
“It was great to have them out there in front of the home fans,” said Dean. “They showed glimpses of what we will see from them over the season. We believe we have recruited really well because we believe they are all good players, good professionals, and good people. They will enjoy it here. The atmosphere from the players, supporters, and staff is all as one. Many of them have commented already about how they have settled in. That togetherness is what is going to take us through.”
There are now just two more friendlies to go before the Sky Bet Championship campaign gets underway at Sheffield United on Saturday 5 August. On Tuesday, The Bees head to MK Dons with Dean keen to step up his side’s preparation ahead of the new season.
“A lot of players got 75 minutes today and we will be looking to get some 90 minute performances now on Tuesday,” revealed Dean. I am getting there with the team for Sheffield United. All I know so far is that Harlee Dean won’t be playing.”