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Dan Bentley on dominance 'from start to finish'

Goalkeeper reflects on five-goal victory at Griffin Park

22 February 2018

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Daniel Bentley felt Brentford fully deserved to get three points out of the game with Birmingham City on Tuesday night. The goalkeeper was pleased with another clean sheet and looked ahead to a game with Leeds United at Elland Road.

Scoring five without reply is often a result that flatters teams, and Dan was asked if he thought the team deserved to win in that fashion.

"I think so," he said. "On reflection I think we dominated the game with the ball. I think we were excellent off the ball as well. From start to finish, from back to front, I thought we were excellent. I think every player can come away from the game with their head held high, knowing that they've put in a real good shift.

"Defensively we were good, going forward we were good, the midfield kept the ball. Every time we were out of possession, we competed to get the ball back high up the pitch. I think we've done everything that was asked of us this evening."

At half-time, with a two-goal lead, Dan says the message was to stay in control.

"We were disappointed with the second half away at Sunderland at the weekend. The message was to continue what we did in the first half, which is what we could have done better away at Sunderland.

"The message was for more of the same really, not to take our foot off the gas and just be ruthless. I think you can say we were ruthless in that second half because we didn't give them an inch. Yes, they've had a chance but I don't think they were really causing us many problems. I thought we were dominant the whole game."

Scoring five at one end can often overshadow the performance of the team's goalkeeper. Dan was happy with the way he played.

"From my point of view, we do a lot of build-up work. From goal-kicks, from passes back, we want to play football from the back and keep the ball on the floor. When possible, we want to keep the ball and make sure that we are playing through teams rather than trying to compete for second balls all the time. We want to keep the ball, we want to build up and that's something that I've worked really hard on since I first came here.

"I felt really comfortable tonight, I felt really confident on the ball. In the main, I think my distribution was good. I had a couple of saves to make, which are nice to be involved in because that's my job. There were a couple of blocks, John Egan in particular made an unbelievable block from a ball that bounced to them on the edge of the box. We're really chuffed."

The team are just hovering below the play-off spots in the Sky Bet Championship with that result. Dan is confident the squad can push all the way to make it there by May.

"We have aspirations to get to the play-offs by the end of the season," he said. "We're happy to be behind the pack and be overlooked. If people want to overlook us, that's fine, that suits us.

"We don't care about the media attention or anything like that, that's not what we are here to do. We are here to do a job, we're here to go quietly about our work and make sure that we continue to strive towards the play-offs and stay there."

Up next for Dean Smith's side is a trip to Elland Road to play Leeds United. Asked about it, Dan said: "I think every game is a tough test, tonight was a tough test. You could say that the result suggests otherwise but I think they've still got a lot of quality in their team. It's obviously not quite happening for them at the moment, it hasn't done this season perhaps.

"I think we can go anywhere and get a result, every game is going to be a difficult game, we've got 13 left to go and they're all going to be tough. I don't think there's an easy game in the Championship.

"We'll be going in full of confidence after the last two displays and we'll be aiming for more of the same. We need to make sure we're focussed and we don't get complacent."

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