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“We have given ourselves an opportunity”

Dean Smith reflects on this afternoon’s derby victory over QPR

21 April 2018

Brentford Head Coach Dean Smith felt his side deserved to take the derby spoils at Griffin Park this afternoon. Sergi Canos gave a rampant Bees the perfect start with a 16th minute goal but the game turned on its head just before the interval. Firstly, Ollie Watkins missed a penalty and then Rangers went up the other end and equalised through Idrissa Sylla. However, Brentford rallied after the break and scored a decisive second with 20 minutes to play through Florian Jozefzoon.

Speaking to iFollow Brentford after the game, Dean said: “We were very good today and probably deserved to win. First-half we were excellent and moved the ball well. We were a real threat on turnovers; as soon as we won the ball I thought we were going to be a threat. It was disappointing to concede the goal. It was the only time that Daniel Bentley had been worked in the first-half. Having missed the penalty as well I probably had to lift the players at half-time. We couldn’t feel sorry for ourselves; It was our own doing in terms of how we conceded the goal. Second-half was a little bit niggly and we were sloppy on the ball. Whatever the moment in the game, we are good at passing the ball so we had to keep doing that. We went forward a little bit too quickly or were too slow on the ball. Fair play to QPR, they banked up, made it difficult for us, and frustrated us.”

The goal was only Sergi’s second of the campaign, the other of which came at home against The Bees other local rivals Fulham back in December. For Florian it was a seventh of the season and reward for another fine showing from the Dutch winger.

On Sergi’s knack for scoring in big games, Dean said: “It's not bad is it. The keeper made a wonderful save to deny him with the header in the second-half. That was one of his best performances today. He was right at it. He tired at the end but he deserved the goal. Florian Jozefzoon’s was a great finish, cutting in from the left. It was similar to last week against Fulham but this time he decided to pass it into the top corner. I’m pleased with that.”

Before embarking on this seven-game unbeaten run, The Bees were eight points outside the top six. Today’s victory has cut that gap to just a single point with two games to go. Dean said his players deserve a lot of credit for the hard work they have put in to make this late Play-Off charge possible.

“We always said we wanted to get to April with a chance,” said Dean. “We have done that and it’s a great credit to the players’ work-rate, work-ethic, belief, and desire to get better. They have been excellent this season. We have two games to go. We will take it one game at a time but we have given ourselves an opportunity, that is for sure. That is seven games unbeaten now. We are in a rich vein of form but we have to keep that going. I have given the players a couple of days off now and then we will be back in for a double session on Tuesday.”

Today’s crowd was the biggest of the season with 12,367 packed into Griffin Park for the game and Dean reserved special praise for the support the fans gave the team.

“It was fantastic support and it’s great to give the fans something to shout about,” said Dean. “We were all disappointed at Loftus Road with the way that the game finished but we showed today that, at the moment, we are better than them.”


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