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“We have 17 games to go and it will be like 17 finals”

Yoann Barbet previews tomorrow’s trip to Derby County

2 February 2018

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Brentford defender Yoann Barbet thinks tomorrow’s trip to the East Midlands to take on Derby County will be a tough, but winnable, match. The Bees head up the M1 on the back of a first home defeat since August to take on a Rams side which currently sits second in the Sky Bet Championship. Gary Rowett’s men have lost just one of their last 11 in all competitions but Yoann feels the big pitch at Pride Park will suit The Bees.

Speaking to iFollow Brentford ahead of the game, Yoann said: “It will be tough because they are on a really good run. We had a tough game when we played at home but we deserved to win. A win at Derby would be good for us, especially as we had a frustrating defeat at home to Norwich City last week. A win at Derby would be good to keep us in the race for the Play-Offs. We have 17 games to go and it will be like 17 finals. They are good going forward and they score a lot of goals. It will be an open game because it is a massive pitch and we are a team who likes to play football. We will have a lot of opportunities to break through and that is where we have to be good and score.”

Despite last weekend’s 1-0 defeat to Norwich City, The Bees travel north in good form of their own. Dean Smith’s side have lost just four of their last 22 in the Sky Bet Championship and currently sit five points outside the Play-Off places. With more than a third of the season still to go, Yoann feels the side are in a good position to push higher up the table with a run of positive results.

“You can be on a bad run but if you go two months without losing or get win four on the spin, then you climb the table really quickly,” said Yoann. “We’ve had a great run over the last few months, losing four in 22, but now we have to go on another run. We’ve already been on one long unbeaten run so why can’t we do it again. We are only five points off the play-offs and there are 51 points to play for. That is a lot of points but we will take it game by game. We know that we can do something interesting and it is nice to have something to play for to the end of the season.”

Yoann is part of a strong central defensive unit at Griffin Park with Andreas Bjelland, John Egan, and Chris Mepham also fighting for a starting spot. Despite the intense competition for places, the French defender says the defensive group get on well and that has only helped improve the standard.  

“It isn’t too difficult as we’ve known each other for quite a long time now,” revealed Yoann. “We are all friends so that means it is easier to get through difficulties. We all like each other so that helps manage the game whether we are playing with Andreas Bjelland, John Egan, or Chris Mepham. We all have good characters and we are really friendly inside and outside the game. That is important and I think that’s why we have done well with different pairs of centre-backs.”

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

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