Brentford Head Coach Dean Smith was left frustrated at full-time as his side were held at home by ten-man Preston North End this afternoon.
After a goalless opening 45 minutes, Tom Barkhuizen’s cross deceived everyone to give the away side the lead shortly after the restart. The Bees weren’t behind for long as Florian Jozefzoon swept home his fifth of the campaign to level things on the hour. Greg Cunningham’s sending off then tipped the game further in The Bees balance but, try as they might, Smith’s side couldn’t find a way grab the winner.
Speaking to iFollow Brentford after the game, Dean said: “It is a good point but a frustrating point. We should have got three points today as our performance was good. Defensively we were good. They had a couple of chances in the first five minutes but other than that we defended well. They are a team who wanted to delay the restarts and break up play which didn’t make for a naturally flowing game. We overcame that and started the second-half well but they scored out of nothing. We had to go and chase the game but our reaction was great. It was a good finish from Florian Jozefzoon and after that there was only going to be one winner. Unfortunately, we just didn’t get it. We were the dominant team today and we should be walking away with three points.”
It was confirmed before this afternoon’s match that Lasse Vibe had completed his move to Chinese Super League club Changchun Yatai FC, bringing to an end the Dane’s two-and-a-half-year spell in west London. In his absence Neal Maupay was re-installed up front this afternoon with Lewis Macleod, Emiliano Marcondes, and Alan Judge all also coming off the bench. While Dean was happy with Neal’s performance this afternoon he did feel his side should have been more clinical in front of goal.
“We just have to take our chances when they come,” admitted Dean. “We had a few today and had 27 against Norwich City last time here. The endeavour is there but we just need that little bit of quality in the final third. Neal Maupay was very good today and that was appreciated by the fans. We got it into him and he linked things up very well. He had the one chance in the first-half today which he will feel he should have scored. At the end we had as many goalscorers as the pitch as we could and you felt we would get one of those chances to drop. On another day we go and win that one three or four to one.”
The Bees’ build-up to this afternoon’s game was disrupted with Ryan Woods and Chris Mepham both dropping out late on and joining the suspended Sergi Canos on the absent list. While not ideal to lose players so close to kick-off, Dean praised the tactical knowledge of those who stepped in at short notice.
“I was forced into three changes,” revealed Dean. “Sergi Canos got sent off last week, Chris Mepham was ill this morning, and Ryan Woods got a whack on the ankle last week. He was due to train Thursday and Friday but he couldn’t get through training because of the pain in his ankle. We had to change that around and I thought that Josh McEachran did well today. We have a squad of players who know how we want to play. The ones not in the starting XI have a good idea of how we want to approach the game and there’s a great tactical understanding so it was easy to put John Egan back into the team today.”