Brentford defender Chris Mepham admitted it was an unbelievable feeling as he struck his first professional goal in Friday’s 1-1 draw against Sheffield United at Griffin Park. The 20-year-old fired home from 12 yards to level things up and ensure The Bees took a point from their Good Friday encounter with The Blades. With success at club, and now international level, Chris said that getting a goal was the next item on his checklist.
“It was an unbelievable feeling,” Chris told iFollow Brentford after Friday’s game. “That’s been my next aim; a lot has happened in a short space of time but I was dying to get my goal. Going into each game it’s about the team and getting the three points but there’s no better feeling than getting a goal, especially one that brings you level and swings the momentum of a game. I am used to scoring from further out but it was a good finish on my left foot. The most important thing was to get the win but we fell short today. We could have got more out of the game but so could they. Sheffield United have held their own this year, having come up from League One. I just think the quality, especially in the final third, let us down today.”
Friday’s goal was just the latest step in Chris’ burgeoning career. Having only made his Sky Bet Championship debut back in September, Chris is now established at the heart of The Bees defence and made his senior Welsh debut last month against China. Even though he’s not long out of the B Team, Chris said it’s been important for him to stamp his authority on the first-team when he’s had the chance.
“The most important thing for me between now and the end of the season is to stay in the team,” said Chris. “I need to keep the shirt and make sure that my individual performance, and the team performance, is there. After the transfer window there was a little bit more pressure and then coming back as a full international, there’s a little more pressure there too. However, I use that for my benefit. It is important for any lad playing up that they stamp their mark. You need to be seen as a first-team player; you can't be seen as that B Team player playing up. It is important to stamp your authority and show the gaffer that you deserve to be there. In recent weeks I have done that and it is important for me to keep doing that.”
Friday’s point leaves Brentford seven points outside the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off places with seven games to go. There’s no let up over the Easter weekend as The Bees head to the south west to take on Bristol City in 24 hours’ time. Chris feels there’s still a lot of belief in the group but said they have to go into every game between now and the end of the season aiming for the three points.
“We have to keep that belief because if there’s no belief, that’s when we could get complacent,” admitted Chris. “We are still going into each game expecting to win so we can creep up the table. Anything can happen with seven games to go. There are 21 points to play for. That can definitely be achieved with the quality we have in the team. There’s no easy game in this league. The teams who are in and around the Play-Offs have something to fight for. We have to go into the game expecting to win. Hopefully, if the performance is there then the result will take care of itself. It’s a game where we have to be solid for 95 minutes. We are more than capable of winning; we just have to make sure that we improve in the final third and stop the goals going in at the other end.”