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Brentford B Team

“In the first-half we weren’t at our best but second-half we stepped on the gas”

Kevin O’Connor looks back on Tuesday’s 4-0 victory over Shanghai SIPG at Jersey Road

4 April 2018

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Brentford B Head Coach Kevin O’Connor admitted his side took a while to warm to their task in yesterday’s 4-0 win over Chinese side Shanghai SIPG Under-20s.

The visitors created some good early chances before The Bees clicked into gear. Marcus Forss had already missed a penalty by the time Ali Coote opened the scoring just before the interval. Theo Archibald came off the bench to make it 2-0 shortly after the restart and an ultimately comfortable win was wrapped up late on with a Chiedozie Ogbene double. Kevin admitted his side didn’t really know what to expect going into the game but was pleased in the end with the performance.

“It took us a while to get going,” Kevin admitted to iFollow Brentford. “In the first-half we weren’t at our best but second-half we stepped on the gas. We pressed higher up the pitch and won the ball back. It was tough to know what to expect; we didn’t get any footage from them so we had to do it as we went along. We had to recognise their shape in the first five minutes. Our quality on the ball was a little bit slow in the first-half. Against that type of team, who are happy to sit off us, it can be difficult to play through them. We upped the tempo in the second-half and created a lot more chances. I was pleased with us getting into those positions but then it is about the decision-making in the final third. That is something we can always get better at.”

Yesterday’s victory means The B Team have now won their last six games, taking the scalps of Chelsea, Manchester United, and Rangers along the way. O’Connor is understandably pleased with how his squad are performing at the moment and hopes to see more of his group stake first-team claims in the coming weeks.

“The players are playing well at the moment and we are on a good little run,” said Kevin. “We want to carry that on until the end of the season. They are all playing to a good level which is pleasing. We are looking to get one or two more to push up and get the opportunity. They are doing well and they are giving themselves a chance which is the main thing. It is then up to them when they get that chance, either in a game or in training, to take it.”

O’Connor’s side have six more games scheduled for this campaign with top flight opposition from England, Belgium, and Portugal lined-up. Next up for The B Team are Anderlecht at Griffin Park next Friday, kick-off 7.30pm. O’Connor believes the varying styles which his team comes up against week in, week out, is one of the real strengths of the B Team model and something which will stand his group in excellent stead going forward.  

“The whole idea of the B Team is to play different teams with different systems,” explained O’Connor. “Today they were a little bit more direct. That was a learning curve for our centre-halves and full-backs to deal with that, cover round, and have more attacking duties than defensive duties. Playing under the lights, there is that nervousness about whether they can deal with it on the night. Hopefully we will get a half-decent crowd against very good opposition. We go from Shanghai today to Anderlecht next Friday which is brilliant experience.”

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