Brentford Head Coach Dean Smith said his players deserved a lot of credit for the way that they battled their way to the three points against Leeds United this evening. A first-half mistake by Andy Lonergan allowed Neal Maupay to poke The Bees in front but Daniel Bentley returned the favour by dropping the ball at the feet of Ezgjan Alioski for a leveller 20 minutes from time. In between times Ollie Watkins had missed a penalty but that didn’t come back to haunt The Bees as Yoann Barbet and Ryan Woods netted in the final five minutes to secure the win.
“It’s all credit to the players because they have had to work extremely hard but they got their just rewards,” Dean told iFollow Brentford at full-time. “I thought we passed it a bit better in the first-half today and we dominated. We should have been more than one goal ahead but second-half, to give them credit, they made two changes and that changed the game. Their goalkeeper made a mistake for our goal and Daniel made a mistake for theirs but we kept going. The last 20 minutes we upped it again with Kamohelo Mokotjo and Lasse Vibe giving us more legs. We went and pressed them a bit higher and won the ball back to create a number of opportunities.”
With 24 hours less rest than The Whites following the midweek round of fixtures, The Bees could have been forgiven for running out of steam late on. However, it was Dean’s side who showed the greater desire to get forward in search of the goals which extended their unbeaten run to nine in the league.
“I have a hungry bunch and they want to win football matches,” said Dean. “There were a lot of question marks after seven games this season but we knew the quality that we had. We needed to make sure that we kept working the same way. We have kept doing that and this week we have got our just rewards. The international break gives us a chance to rest up but we have to get ready for the next games because it is such a tough league. We are on a good run but we know that we have to be at our best to win matches.”
More than 11,000 fans filled Griffin Park for the visit of United under the lights, the largest home crowd of the campaign. Dean was thankful for the backing that the fans gave the team this evening and feels that the togetherness of everyone at the club can take the team places.
“It was a great atmosphere,” said Dean. “Our fans were fantastic tonight. Leeds United always travel in number and that made it a fantastic atmosphere. There is a great togetherness about the whole football club and we have to harness that as players, staff, and supporters. You never know where that can take you and we want it to take us to the top six.”