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Kevin O'Connor on changing 'everything' at half-time

Brentford B Head Coach reflects on 2-1 victory over Shamrock Rovers

11 February 2018

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Kevin O'Connor gave a mixed response when talking about his side's 2-1 win over Shamrock Rovers on Saturday afternoon.

The B Team Head Coach had just watched his side beat the second of two Irish opponents in the space of four days when he joined iFollow in the stands of Tallaght Stadium. 

The match, which had kicked off at exactly the same time as the First Team's Championship fixture with Preston North End, saw Brentford B come from a goal-down to win 2-1 thanks to a headed goal from Jarvis Edobor in the final few minutes.

"I'm pleased with the second half to a degree," said Kevin, speaking after the final whistle had blown on a tough encounter for his squad. "Getting two goals when we were one-nil down at half-time was good. The performance was missing, especially in the first half, so I'm a little bit disappointed."

The Bees went in at the break a goal behind after Graham Burke had scored for Rovers in the 40th minute. Kevin admitted that he had told the boys in the dressing room he wanted a lot more from them in the second period.

"Everything [was the message]," said Kevin. "We needed to be quicker, sharper, have more intensity and we needed a little bit more about us. I think we were struggling a bit from the Wednesday game, we looked one-paced, our legs were slow and we were taking too many touches.

"We needed to liven them up at half-time and credit to them because they did get better in the second half. We managed to get the two goals, but we probably didn't quite deserve that victory I don't think."

For Shamrock, one half of the stadium was packed with fans wanting to see the team's last pre-season friendly before they begin their League of Ireland campaign against Bohemians next Friday. Kevin didn't think this impacted his team in a negative way.

"I don't think so," he said. "I don't think that was an issue for us. Obviously they changed their team at half-time, I think they were a lot younger in the second half. So in the first half they were very good and it was a good test for us, we went in losing one-nil at half-time. Second half we did much better but we need to be better first half."

Like many coaches before him, Kevin did concede that a goal right at the end of the game was a demonstration of good character on the part of his lads.

"Definitely," said Kevin. "Jarvis has popped up at the end with his first goal for the B Team so credit to him and it was a good corner. There was a bit of character there but, like I say, we need to do more than that."

The win brought with it the end of Brentford B's tour of Ireland. A narrow 2-1 loss to Dundalk on Wednesday followed by a closely-fought win of the reverse scoreline sends Kevin home a contented Head Coach.

He summed it up saying: "They were two brilliant games, two different experiences. One played on a 4G turf at an old stadium and then here at a new stadium with a really nice grass pitch. It's been good fun and it's had a lot of good points to take from it, I think. It's been worthwhile for the players and hopefully they can take that into the games when we go back to England."

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