Dean Smith admitted that his team were below par during Brentford’s 3-3 draw with Sunderland. The Bees took an early lead; Nico Yennaris pouncing on the rebound after Florian Jozefzoon had struck the post. But the visitors reacted well to falling behind, heading into the interval with a 3-1 lead before second-half goals from Jozefzoon and substitute Neal Maupay ensured Brentford took a share of the spoils at Griffin Park.
“It wasn’t a great game,” said Dean. “I thought we were very much below our standards. I said to the players before the game that you have to go and earn things; you’re not given anything in this league. We gave them three goals. We came away with a point which shows character but I’m disappointed with the amount of mistakes and poor decisions we made during the game”.
Dean had no complaints regarding the penalty decision which allowed former Bees man Lewis Grabban to extend The Black Cats’ lead shortly before the interval:
“It was the correct decision. I think Ryan (Woods) should have brought the player down on the halfway line but he ends up chasing him all the way back and bringing him down inside the box. Credit to the referee; he got a couple of decisions wrong at Bolton but he refereed the game well today”.
Despite Dean’s frustration, the Head Coach was happy with the increased number of First Team players at his disposal:
“I was pleased with the impact that the substitutes made. Getting Sergi (Canos) back and having Lasse (Vibe) available is a big positive. Lasse was given the start today which gave me the chance to give Neal Maupay a breather. It’s great when you can look over your shoulder and see the likes of Kamo (Mokotjo) who is back from illness, Josh McEachran, Sergi and Neal - they’re game changers. We’ll dust ourselves down and probably see today as a good point having been 3-1 down, but at this moment in time I’m disappointed we didn’t take all three”.