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First Team

Dean looking forward to Saturday’s Fulham derby

“I am really excited about the game on Saturday as I think that it is a good game for us”

30 November 2017

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Brentford Head Coach Dean Smith believes his side have moved on from Monday’s disappointing draw against QPR as they build up to a second derby inside a week. The Bees led 2-0 going into the final two minutes of added time only to concede twice to be denied the win. Now, with Fulham heading to Griffin Park this weekend, Dean has told his side that they have to keep doing what they are good at right up to the final whistle to see out wins.

Speaking to iFollow Brentford ahead of the game, Dean said: “We sorted it out Tuesday. I am not one who dwells on things too long after the game. It is important not to get too emotional after the game in the dressing room. I have been in there before when it was needed but Monday wasn’t a time when it was needed. We were reviewing our game management after the Bristol City game to be honest. We were outstanding and they scored in the 97th minute of a game where we absolutely battered them. Straight after that game we were looking at ways to make sure that it didn’t happen again but different circumstances have cost us a number of points. We know what we are good at and we have to make sure that we maintain what we are good at when we are leading.”

Back-to-back wins have lifted Fulham into the top half of the Sky Bet Championship, two points and two places above The Bees. After facing more direct opposition in the form of Cardiff City, Burton Albion, and Queens Park Rangers in recent games, Dean is expecting a much more free-flowing and technical game this Saturday which he believes will suit his side. 

“It will certainly be a footballing game,” said Dean. “They won’t be chucking balls up there for us to defend because they haven’t got the players to do that. We have to make sure that we are at our best. We had two really tough games against them last season. They out-footballed us and deservedly beat us at home and then we shared the spoils at their place. I am really excited about the game on Saturday as I think that it is a good game for us. We don’t go too far away from how we want to play. There are obviously different starting points about how we want to defend different styles but our style of play doesn’t change.”

Dean will be without the suspended Neal Maupay this weekend while he is also waiting for news on the injury which forced Florian Jozefzoon off in the first-half against QPR. The Head Coach did, however, have a positive update on the progress of Alan Judge towards full fitness.  

“Florian Jozefzoon is a doubt for Saturday as he felt his hamstring on Monday and we brought him off,” said Dean. “Neal Maupay has picked up his fifth booking. The 19th game is the one where it goes up to ten but it is one of those things that happen. The pleasing thing was the two finishes from Lasse Vibe who looks on fire again. Alan Judge is very close. We did some 11 vs 11 today and he was involved in that while Lewis Macleod is definitely available to get on the pitch now. Alan needs some minutes: until he has played some match minutes he won’t be available.”

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