Dean Smith looks ahead to the visit of third placed Huddersfield Town on Saturday
Brentford Head Coach Dean Smith doesn’t feel there is much between his side and Saturday’s promotion chasing visitors Huddersfield Town. The Terriers head down to Griffin Park sitting third in the Sky Bet Championship, six points off the automatic promotion spots with a game in hand. Despite being 21 points worse off in 12th, Dean sees no reason why his side can’t come away with the win.
“Huddersfield have had a very good season so far,” said Dean, speaking to Bees Player ahead of the match. “They have put themselves into a challenging position and are breathing down the necks of the top two. We know what a tough proposition they will be and how difficult it will be. It seems like a long time since we had that first game of the season. Our season has been a little bit inconsistent and they have had a very good winning run. It is interesting to see that our goal differences aren’t that far apart. They have had an awful lot of wins but not by much. I don’t think there is as much between the teams as the league table suggests but they have been very good this season and we will have to be at our best. We will have an understanding of the opposition and what threats they can pose but a lot of our coaching week goes into the opportunities that we can present ourselves.”
Brentford head into the game on Saturday having taken ten points from four league games after encouraging wins over Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham United, and Nottingham Forest. Dean has been really pleased with the performances in recent weeks and is glad to see that those performances are now getting the results they deserve.
“The team are doing well: they have put in some good performances and got some well-deserved results,” said Dean. “Sometimes you don’t always get what you deserve but our performance levels have been good and consistent over the last month or two. We probably didn’t get the points that we needed with it but Tuesday night was a very good performance and a very good win. On the back of Forest beating Brighton and Hove Albion 3-0 they were full of confidence so to go there and play as we did was very pleasing. Having a great belief, and being consistent, in what you do is important. We have stressed that to the players and they have bought into it.”
More pre-match build-up
In amongst the fine recent team performances, Bees fans have also been treated to a front row seat at the Jota show since his return in January. The Spanish winger narrowly missed out on the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month award for February after scoring five, and setting up two, in five games last month and Dean agrees that he is right at the top of his game currently.
“You would have to have been a good player to have won the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month ahead of Jota this month,” said Dean. “We have been fortunate to see his performances and they have been brilliant. He has scored and created a number of goals. His all-round game has also been very good. I have had to manage him well because he has come from not playing many games for Eibar to playing a lot of games in a short space of time here. When you see him carrying the ball 60 or 70 yards two or three times against Forest you can see that he just loves being out there and playing 90 minutes.”
Saturday’s game marks the midway point in a run of five games in 14 days ahead of the next international break. Dean has been really happy with the contribution of his whole squad in this recent run as he looks to keep his squad fresh throughout the busy period.
“The players are pushing each other to get into the team,” said Dean. “Konstantin Kerschbaumer came back into the team against Rotherham United and did well, Romaine Sawyers came into the team against Ipswich Town and did well, Sergi Canos came back into the team and did well. They are pushing each other and that is what is good for a Head Coach. It gives you an opportunity to make sure that you are picking the players who are performing and rest people at the same time. Being 3-0 up with 15 minutes to go on Tuesday gave me an opportunity to do that. The squad have set themselves a standard now and they know that they can keep pushing. We will look at it game by game. With the period that we have had we will welcome the international break.”
In injury news ahead of Saturday’s game, Dean confirmed it will come too early for Josh McEachran and Andreas Bjelland as they work their way back to fitness.
“Andreas Bjelland and Josh McEachran both won’t make tomorrow but they should both be ready for Burton Albion,” said Dean. “Tuesday will come too soon for them but they are both pushing for a return for the Burton game which is good news for us.”
Tickets are still available for Saturday's match at Griffin Park with prices starting at £23 Adults, £17 Seniors, £15 Young Persons, and £6 Juniors. Click here for more info and to buy.