Dean Smith was in high spirits when addressing the media at his pre-Cardiff City press conference. The Bees head into the next round of Sky Bet Championship fixtures nine unbeaten, with victory over Leeds United on 4 November their third win on the spin.
“It’s been good,” Dean told iFollow Brentford. “I’ve spoken regularly about how we didn’t get the results we deserved at the start of the season, but I think our performances have been more consistent than ever since I arrived at the Club.
“I’m really pleased with the way in which the lads have applied themselves at the training ground and they’ve carried that onto the pitch. Over the last month or so we’ve got our just rewards but we need to keep working hard as we have done during this international break.”
Dean was in philosophical mood when asked whether the international break had come at a bad time for The Bees:
“It is what it is; you’re neither grateful nor relieved, it’s one of those things and you have to deal with it. We feel as though we’re in a good run of form. It’s not just the three wins on the spin, we’re also nine games unbeaten which shows that there’s a level of consistency to our play.
“The aim is to maintain that consistency. The players have been told about the standards that they’ve set and we want to keep growing those standards. It’s a big period for us – hopefully we can keep playing well, keep picking up points and then we’ll see where we are at Christmas.”
Dean delivered positive news on the injury front, with Henrik Dalsgaard the only absentee for the trip to the Welsh capital having yet to fully recover from the heel injury which saw him miss out on Denmark’s World Cup Play-Off matches against the Republic of Ireland. While acknowledging The Bluebirds’ achievements during the first third of the season, Dean stressed that there is plenty of belief in the Brentford camp:
“It’s a tough game,” admitted The Bees Head Coach. “Cardiff have started the season well and we’ve always had tough games against Neil Warnock’s teams in the past – I’m sure this one will be no different. They’ve got aspirations of finishing in the top two and getting into the Premier League. We know it’ll be a tough game but we’ve got great belief in our ability.
“They’ve got a lot of pace in Junior Hoilett and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing who’s gone there and done well. They’ve got height, strength, pace and power. You’ve got to be very respectful of what they’ve done already but we certainly don’t fear them – we’ll be looking to go there to play the football that we know we’re capable of.”