Bees Head Coach Dean Smith was delighted with the way that his side ground out the points against Birmingham City this evening. After a dull first-half, The Bees took the lead with a quarter of an hour to play as Ollie Watkins netted from the penalty spot. The points were wrapped up ten minutes later when Neal Maupay finished coolly from 12 yards. Although Dean admitted it wasn’t the greatest performance from his side, he was nevertheless delighted to take the points.
“It was very satisfying to come away with three points,” Dean told iFollow Brentford after the game. “It is a tough place to come at any time. It wasn’t a vintage performance from us if I am being perfectly honest. It was a game that was littered with errors. We were very sloppy on the ball which is unlike us but you have to give credit to Birmingham for the way they stifled us at times. Our commitment and effort shows the togetherness of the group. You can’t be on top of your game all of the time. I’ve said earlier in the season that some of our performance have been outstanding: that wasn’t one of them but we have come away with the three points.”
After failing to open up Blues for the first 70 minutes, Lasse Vibe was withdrawn for Maupay up front. It was the French striker who was brought down for Watkins’ opener and then he added his fifth of the season late on to decide the game. With Vibe back to full fitness now, Dean feels he has got different options up front to test oppositions.
“I am pleased for Neal,” said Dean. “He had a bit of a barren spell of goal-scoring when he started. It is another game where he has come off the bench and scored. Lasse Vibe had a couple of chances: the keeper made two good saves from him. Neal is a little bit of a different option for us. I am really pleased for him that he has got the penalty. Ollie was always going to take the penalty and Neal has got himself a goal. I am pleased for him because he is a great lad and he works his socks off for the team. He hasn’t always got his rewards so I am really pleased for him.”
Tonight’s game also saw The Bees keep a fifth clean sheet in 15 Sky Bet Championship matches this campaign. As much as the goals this evening pleased Dean, The Bees Head Coach said that it was his side’s defensive resolve which made him happiest.
“John Egan’s header against Cheikh Ndoye typified the team spirit that we had,” said Dean. “It is great to see clean sheets because it shows the togetherness and battling qualities to make sure we go to the end. Before the game I said that we look like a team that doesn’t want to get beaten and during the game we looked like a team that didn’t want to concede. It is great to travel and get the wins. Last season we didn’t travel well and now we have started to travel better. We look a really tight knit group of staff, players, and supporters so I am really pleased for everyone tonight.”