Dean Smith was proud of his players’ determination as they picked up a third win in six games after seeing off a spirited Preston North End at Deepdale this afternoon. The Bees were twice pegged back, after goals from Nico Yennaris and Romaine Sawyers either side of the interval, but eventually the game was settled 20 minutes from time as Ollie Watkins grabbed his sixth of the season, converting Florian Jozefzoon’s wicked low cross.
Speaking to iFollow Brentford after the game, Dean said: “It is an outstanding result. It is a tough place to come as they are doing well. We knew that they would try and press us. We worked on playing beyond the press a little bit today. We felt that if we wanted to play out and play in front of them then they would be quite happy to come and close us down. We got the other side of them and scored three well worked goals which I am really pleased with. They started the game the better but, as it went on, we started to get a lot more second balls and pass a bit more. When we found the spaces, we created a number of chances.”
This afternoon’s victory also means The Bees have taken seven points from their last three away games, scoring eight goals in the process. Having suffered woes on their travels last season, Dean feels his side is much more consistent on the road this time round.
“We have reacted really well from their goals,” said Dean. “We didn’t let them get us down and we continued trying to create openings which we did with the goal. I spoke to the players before the game and looked at last season's performances here, and at Wigan Athletic, where we never performed anywhere near well enough. I don’t see that with the players this year. They are more consistent and more together. You only have to look at what we have done so far going away to Bolton Wanderers, Middlesbrough, and now here. They have been very good performances because we have got a strong group.”
Dean also provided an update on Nico Yennaris who was knocked unconscious late on in the first-half following a collision with Preston striker Jordan Hugill.
“Nico is good,” revealed Dean. “He obviously got a whack which I didn’t see at the time. I don’t think anybody else saw it but, looking back, it looks like the lad dips his shoulder and catches him. It is possibly a red card if you see it again. Nobody saw it and Nico was out but he is good form now. We told him he dribbled past eight people and stuck one in the back of the net because he is not too sure about the goal. He is right as rain now.”