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“We have to respond well”

17 March 2017

Dean Smith calls for reaction from Tuesday's defeat as team prepare for trip to Burton Albion

Brentford Head Coach Dean Smith wants his side to prove Tuesday’s performance against Wolverhampton Wanderers was a one-off by putting in a much better showing when they head to Burton Albion tomorrow. The Bees were beaten 2-1 at Griffin Park on Tuesday night after a lacklustre showing with Dean calling on his side to put things right on Saturday at The Pirelli Stadium.

Speaking to Bees Player ahead of the game, Dean said: ”Training was good on Thursday and Friday. We had a debrief on Thursday and spoke about it. The lads knew my feelings anyway but I didn’t have to say much about it because they knew they hadn’t played well. It wasn’t at the standard that we expected from them or that we have had from them. Since the turn of the year a performance like that has been a rarity and now we have to respond well. We can’t change it: it is what it is. Now we have to get better from it, move on and make sure the performance levels are better against Burton. I have a lot of belief in this group of players and I said that to them on Thursday morning. It was important they knew that as the Wolves performance was unlike us.”

Tomorrow’s opponents Burton Albion have defied many pre-season predictions to sit 18th in the Sky Bet Championship, three points above the drop zone, with nine games to play. Nigel Clough’s side are unbeaten in their last six and Dean is under no illusions about how tough an afternoon it promises to be tomorrow. 

“They are unbeaten in six games and have only conceded three goals in those games,” said Dean. “Nigel Clough has made them a very tough team to play against and they are doing very well this season. To get promoted last season was impressive enough. I am sure that a lot of people had them in the bottom three this season and they haven’t been. They have been very good in the last six games and they have been very tough to beat all season. We had a tough game against them at home and scrapped by with a 2-1 win and I will expect nothing but a tough game there. They have been to Sheffield Wednesday and got a draw and beat Nottingham Forest at home in their last game. That shows that they can compete at this level. They have found their feet and Nigel has done well to get the best out of the players.”

Dean received a boost of the playing front this week with the return to fitness of Alan McCormack and the international call-up for four members of the first-team and B Team squad.

“Alan McCormack comes back into the squad,” said Dean. “He has been out injured for a while but he got 45 minutes in a B Team game on Wednesday. Tomorrow probably comes too soon for Andreas Bjelland. He is back training but he just won’t get into the squad for this weekend. He has been called up for Denmark which is brilliant and he can go and carry on his fitness work with them. Lasse Vibe has been called up to Denmark, Rico Henry has been called up to the England Under-20s and Ellery Balcombe has been called up so we have a few internationals here now. That is pleasing for the football club and shows the profile that the club is in at currently and the players that we have got.”

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