Nico Yennaris admitted that Saturday’s draw against Sunderland was a case of two points dropped despite seeing The Bees come from 3-1 down to rescue a point. Nico gave The Bees an early lead but Lewis Grabban’s double, either side of a Daniel Bentley own-goal, had The Black Cats in control at the interval. Florian Jozefzoon’s fine free-kick made it 3-2 before Neal Maupay’s leveller late on ensured The Bees left with a point.
“We showed great character to get back into the game,” Nico told iFollow Brentford after the game. “We will look back on it and think that it is two points dropped. We should be going into games full of confidence and performing from the get-go. We started well but dropped our levels and gave them three goals really. After their first goal we stopped doing the right things and stopped playing. We definitely felt that we were the better team but they were three sloppy goals which we will learn from. We stay unbeaten but we have to start climbing this table.”
After levelling early on, Sunderland netted twice in the final five minutes of the half to take control. Having conceded so near to the break, Nico admitted there were some honest exchanges on the pitch and in the dressing room with players and staff demanding more from each other.
“At half-time we spoke about what we had to do better,” revealed Nico. “We dug each other out a little bit because we knew it wasn’t acceptable. It wasn’t just coming from the coaches: we knew that it wasn’t good enough. On the pitch after they scored the third we were on each other to make sure that we raised our game. There are a lot of strong characters in this dressing room and everyone knew that it had to be better. I have been a leader on the pitch when John Egan isn’t out there and I feel that I am becoming one of the louder voices in the dressing room. We can’t use the excuse of being a young group any more. We have lots of players in there who have played a lot of matches.”
Saturday’s fixture was Nico’s 71st consecutive competitive appearance, the longest run in the Brentford squad. Having endured a stop start beginning to life at Griffin Park, Nico feels he has really stepped into his role in the centre of the Brentford midfield.
“I’m really happy to be playing as consistently as I am after what happened at the start of my career,” said Nico. “We have a really good understanding in that midfield with myself, Romaine Sawyers, and Ryan Woods. Myself and Romaine can both play in that number eight role with Ryan covering in behind. We have a good understanding on when to rotate and when to sit if the other one goes. It’s good that we are adding goals to that partnership know too.”