Dean Smith said that he and his side are fully focused on the points at stake when speaking to the media ahead of the trip to Queens Park Rangers on Monday night. The Bees head into the second West London derby of the season having lost only once in their previous 11 outings, but the Head Coach was in honest mood when drawn on recent performances.
“The performance in recent weeks have been OK,” said Dean. “We were OK at Cardiff City and probably deserved to come back with more than we did, but Tuesday night was probably our worst performance of the season – it was down to us to open them up and we didn’t do that. We used our get out of jail free card with the goal from Flo but then we were sloppy from the set-piece to allow them to score the equaliser. During the last couple of seasons we’ve been up there with the top scorers in the division. We certainly create a lot of chances but we didn’t manage that on Tuesday.”
The former Walsall boss opted for continuity on Tuesday night with Ilias Chatzitheodoridis taking Lewis Macleod’s place on the bench in the only squad change from the defeat to Cardiff City. The boss hinted that there could be some fresh legs on Monday night:
“Some of the players – by not being involved in a poor performance – have put themselves in the frame. It’s sometimes the case that not being involved in a poor performance actually gets you noticed. There’s a lot of players willing to show me what they’re about in training. I’ve got great belief in the quality of the squad; should I choose to make a few changes we certainly won’t be weakened in any way.”
Following midweek frustration at the hands of Burton Albion, Dean admitted he was expecting a very different challenge at Loftus Road:
“I expect that QPR will come and press us – I certainly don’t expect them to sit back and allow us to have the possession that we did on Tuesday night. The aim is to go there and get three points. Our players are certainly aware of what this game means to the supporters. I watched QPR’s game against Aston Villa the other week; they’re very good from set-pieces and they’ve got a lot of physical players. They can hit teams hard and they’ve shown that already with positive results against Sheffield United and Wolverhampton Wanderers. They’ve shown that they can beat the best so we’ll have to be at our best.”