Brentford midfielder Romaine Sawyers sees Saturday’s game against The Saints as a perfect opportunity for The Bees to judge just where they are as a team ahead of the new Sky Bet Championship campaign.
Dean Smith’s side welcome Southampton, under new boss Mauricio Pellegrino, to West London this weekend for their fourth pre-season test ahead of the new campaign. Having won two, and drawn one, of their pre-season games so far, Romaine is looking forward to facing up to the toughest test yet in the build-up to the season opener at Sheffield United on Saturday 5 August.
“Everyone growing up wants to play in the Premier League and play against Premier League teams,” Romaine told iFollow ahead of Saturday’s game. “Playing top division opposition is only going to be a good thing to test yourself where you are in pre-season and to test yourself where you are against the top league in the world. It gives us a chance to show people what we are about with the DNA and philosophy at the club.”
The Bees have notched up ten goals in pre-season so far, hitting four past Oxford on Wednesday night during a seven-goal thriller at The Kassam Stadium. Romaine felt that the result was much more comfortable than the scoreline suggested and saw plenty of positives to take from the runout against the League One side.
“The scoreline probably doesn’t do us justice,” said Romaine. “On paper for Oxford it looks quite good but we dominated the game for large spells even though we conceded three. We know in ourselves that we made mistakes but it is not massive details, which in itself is a positive thing. That game could have been a 4-0 game if we had cut out three small mistakes. Pre-season is all about getting fit and getting the finer details ready for 5 August.”
Wednesday’s game in Oxfordshire followed quickly on from The Bees pre-season Training Camp in Divonne-Les-Bains, France. As well as getting to know more about his teammates, and the coaching staff, Romaine was happy to spend time chatting to the fans who made the trip out to watch the 1-1 draw with Lausanne Sport on the final day of the trip.
“It was good getting to know the new boys,” said Romaine. “You are around them 24/7 and that’s the biggest time to learn about your teammates. There was the banter with the performing, the singing, and the forfeits. The whole playing staff and staff came together as one and interlocked. With the group that we have got we can go and achieve something special this year. It was a good thing to thank the fans for coming that far. I’m sure the trip wasn’t cheap. For them to show the commitment to come out there and support the boys means a lot to us. Going in there and interacting with them showed that we appreciated it. Something like that gives us an opportunity to speak to them and it is part of our roles and responsibilities to make sure we go and thank them.”