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“You need big decisions to go your way when you come here”

Dean Smith reflects on this afternoon’s 1-0 defeat to Leeds United

24 February 2018

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Brentford Head Coach Dean Smith felt the big decisions went against his side as The Bees slipped to a narrow defeat at Elland Road this afternoon. A single Liam Cooper header proved to be decisive with The Whites captain heading home from a free-kick on the half-hour. However, replays showed that the Leeds man was offside as he nodded home, one of a number of key decisions which Dean felt went against his side.

Speaking to iFollow Brentford after the game, Dean said: “Ezgjan Alioski has thrown his arm at Yoann Barbet, how that can be just a yellow card I don’t know. At times today, the officials could have come off the pitch and the game could have been refereed by the Elland Road crowd. You need big decisions to go your way when you come here and unfortunately, we didn’t get them. Neal should have had a penalty, the linesman’s flag should have gone up for their goal but didn’t, and it goes up when it shouldn’t as Neal went through in the second-half. On our second-half performance we didn’t deserve to win anything but we didn’t deserve to lose the game. To lose it on a decision which was offside was tough to take.”

It was a drab affair at Elland Road with The Bees best chances coming early on. John Egan forced an excellent flying save from home stopper Felix Wiedwald while Florian Jozefzoon hooked over the bar after breaking through in the opening quarter. Looking for a big performance from his side after the break, Dean admitted that he was disappointed with what he saw in the second-half.

“It wasn’t one for the purists,” admitted Dean. “The pitch didn’t allow that as it wasn’t good enough today. It didn’t allow us to get our passing game together although saying that we were dominant for 30 minutes. We had a lot of the ball and had a couple of chances. Florian Jozefzoon has gone through and had a bad touch and Neal Maupay has had a couple of chances. The game was changed on a goal that has been proven to be offside. Second-half we were poor on the ball. We didn’t move it well enough and didn’t get behind them. We over-hit stuff and our decision making was poor. It was a poor second-half of football. They looked to sit back, counter-attack us, and their final ball was missing. We didn’t trouble their keeper enough.”

This afternoon’s defeat was a disappointing end to a week which had started with consecutive victories and clean sheets. Dean refused to blame fatigue for his side’s performance but did admit he had some tired bodies on the pitch come full-time.

“We got a few niggles in the game,” revealed Dean. “Andreas Bjelland was feeling his hamstring at the end and Yoann Barbet took a few knocks during the game. We will nurse everybody and get ready for Cardiff City as we have another tough game next week. I don’t think we ran out of steam. I saw enough in the first-half to say that we were ok. The substitutes didn’t work for us today for one reason or another. We hadn’t looked like scoring so I just wanted to get some goalscorers onto the pitch but it didn’t really happen.”

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