Despite last weekend’s reverse against Norwich City, Dean feels his side head to second-place Derby County on Saturday in a rich vein of form. A single James Maddison goal after five minutes decided matters a week ago as The Bees suffered a first home defeat since August and only a fourth league defeat in 22 matches. Having had a chance to review the game over the week, Dean felt his side were unlucky in defeat and said that was a sentiment echoed by the players.
Speaking to iFollow Brentford earlier this afternoon, Dean said: “We are only five points off the Play-Offs with 17 games to go. We have a great belief in the group of players that we have got. We are happy with how we are playing currently. It always frustrates you when results don’t go your way but I have said before that we work on performances. Our performance was not too bad last week against Norwich City. The players are in a good place. Monday was obviously a bit disappointing with the fallout from not keeping the winning run going. However, you do the debrief and show the clips and the players see it in another light and realise they weren’t too far away from winning that game.”
Next up for The Bees is a trip to an in-form Derby County side whose only defeat in their last 11 games came against Manchester United in the Emirates FA Cup Third Round. Gary Rowett’s team were one of the pre-season promotion favourites and head into this weekend’s game, second in the Sky Bet Championship, 11 points behind runaway leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers. While Dean admits that The Rams’ recent run of form deserves respect, he does not feel the trip to the East Midlands should hold any fear for his players.
“He’s done really well,” said Dean of Rowett. “It is a Premier League club facility wise and they have a lot of ex-Premier League players. There is also a lot of expectation on them and Gary Rowett has gone in there and done a really good job. They are pushing to get that promotion place which their fans believe they should have. The home game was the most one-sided game that we have been involved in this season. They went in front very early and had to hold on, defending very deep with 11 behind the ball. It is a game that we felt we should have won. They are a good team and are on a good run of form but so are we. It makes for a really good game. There is a lot of respect but there certainly isn’t any fear.”
Even though the domestic Transfer Window slammed shut at 11pm last night, the future of Bees striker Lasse Vibe is still to be decided as not all nations’ transfer windows have now closed. Having brought in Chiedozie Ogbene from Limerick FC and Emiliano Marcondes from FC Nordsjaelland, Dean is comfortable with the make-up of his squad, regardless of what happens with Lasse, as his side sets aim at a strong finish to the campaign.
“This window was quite a relaxing one,” revealed Dean. “As a football club our strategies are in place and that enables us to be a lot more relaxed come the end of the window. Lasse is negotiating with what has been well documented is a Chinese team, and it is very likely to happen. If it does, we wish him well, and if it doesn’t, we are here for him. Scoring goals has never been a major problem and long may that continue. Earlier this season people were calling to leave Lasse Vibe out and put Neal Maupay in. That is how football is. We have Neal, Sergi Canos, Ollie Watkins, and Emiliano Marcondes who can all play up there and Romaine Sawyers played up there against Fulham. We have a number options and we don’t believe it will hurt us too much.”
Tickets for Saturday's trip to the East Midlands are on General Sale now. Back Dean and the boys this weekend for £22 adults, £15.50 seniors, £12.50 (13-17), (2-12) £7. Get your tickets here