Dean Smith says that he is happy with his squad ahead of the trip to Aston Villa on Saturday. First-Teamers Harlee Dean, Jota and Maxime Colin joined Birmingham City towards the end of the transfer window, but the Head Coach was adamant that all three departures were part of a long-term plan mapped out at the beginning of the summer.
“It’s funny that people think of the transfer window as just the final day,” Dean told iFollow Brentford at this afternoon’s press conference. “I saw a lot of clubs rushing to get deals done whereas I was in bed by 9 o’clock that night and didn’t see a lot of the final deals until the morning! We completed a lot of our business early and I’m pleased that we got in Henrik Dalsgaard, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Ollie Watkins, Neal Maupay and Luke Daniels. We brought a lot of players in and that was knowing full well that we might be losing some players later in the window. It was certainly planned for and for those players to leave there needed to be a club willing to match our valuation of them – it happened and they moved.
“What’s probably surprised a lot of people is that the three players moved to the same club on the same day in the same league. It’s a strange situation but it is what it is and we’re certainly happy with the squad that we’ve assembled”.
Despite being the better side in many of the games in which they’ve been involved in this season, The Bees are still on the hunt for a first league win of 2017/18. Dean suggested that it was only a matter of time before results begin to match performances.
“We played as well in that period as we have done since I’ve been at the Club; we just didn’t get the points tally. Out of the seven games that we’ve played – including the cup ties – we’ve lost three and it’s hard to put your finger on how that’s happened. Sheffield United was very tight, Nottingham Forest scored two wonder goals and at Ipswich Town we were the aggressors for the majority of the game. One thing that we’ve noticed is that we haven’t taken our chances – when we score when we’re on top we’re usually very good. That’s something we’ve been working on and we’ll put that right. I’ve been happy with the performances but not happy with the points return”.
Henrik Dalsgaard and Andreas Bjelland were involved in key victories during the international break, and Dean said that the Danish duo returned to Jersey Road this morning in high spirits.
“The Danes have come back with big smiles on their faces. I watched the Denmark v Poland game and both Andreas and Henrik were excellent. I didn’t watch the Armenia game but Henrik tells me it was a good job that I didn’t! It wasn’t the greatest game but they’ve certainly come back with great wins. Kamohelo will feel differently as he’s gone over to South Africa, they’ve lost both games to Cape Verde and he’s only got 20 minutes on a plastic pitch. A lot of our younger lads have gone out and played as well; it’s good to have them back today”.
There was positive news to end on as Dean provided an update on the injury front.
“The squad is looking very well,” said Dean. “Rico (Henry) has trained all week which is pleasing, all of the centre-halves are fine and Lasse Vibe has come out of his protective boot – he’s still a couple of weeks away. Josh McEachran’s back training and Sergi Canos is back and available so we’re pretty much getting there. Lewis MacLeod is very close to being full-contact and Alan Judge isn’t far away either”.