Brentford made it back-to-back Sky Bet Championship wins with a hard-fought success over Ipswich Town at Griffin Park this afternoon. It was a game of few chances but the pivotal moment came with 20 minutes to play as substitute Sergi Canos went over in the box under a challenge from Jonas Knudsen; Neal Maupay stepping up to score from 12 yards. Having seen his side play well and fail to take full points on many occasions this campaign, Dean Smith was more than happy to take a scrappy three points today.
“It was very tough,” Dean admitted to iFollow Brentford after the game. “I have to give credit to Mick McCarthy and Ipswich Town as they made it very difficult for us. There have been some games here this season which have been relatively one-sided, today certainly wasn’t. They went man for man against us all over the pitch and made it very difficult for us to get our free-flowing football going. We found chances hard to come by. We were due a penalty like that; it was soft and I would be slightly annoyed if it was given against us. However, we haven’t got a few this season so I will take it for sure.”
Neal’s goal was the 12th of his debut season in England after he also netted the winner against Bristol City on Monday afternoon. After a disappointing individual showing against Sheffield United last time out at Griffin Park, Dean was pleased to see Neal back among the goals again today.
“I am pleased for Neal Maupay,” said Dean. “He didn’t play so well against Sheffield United the other week so I left him out. He came off the bench against Bristol City and scored the winner and he’s managed to do it again today.”
Victory today means The Bees remain firmly in the promotion picture, five points off the top six with five games to play. Dean feels the celebrations at full-time show that there is still a lot of belief in the group that the season could well yet be extended.
“You could see what it meant to the players at the end of the game,” said Dean. “It was an important result for us today. With the teams above us winning, we couldn’t lose as then the gap would become insurmountable. I am pleased we got the win today. It was not the greatest performance today but we have certainly had a lot of performances where we haven’t got the result that we should have.”