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Chris Mepham: “We defended with our lives”

Centre-half reflects on Bolton victory

13 January 2018

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Chris Mepham said that Brentford “defended with their lives” following a battling victory over Bolton Wanderers. Dean Smith’s men had to dig deep at times with a series of searching balls pumped in the direction of Gary Madine, but goals from Florian Jozefzoon and substitute Neal Maupay earned The Bees a victory which puts them within three points of the Play-Offs.

“It was a hard-fought win,” Chris told iFollow Brentford. “We were sloppy at times – particularly in the second half – but the most important thing was that we got the three points. We defended with our lives and we were rewarded with the win.

“We were told during the build up to the game that Bolton would come here, give us the respect that we deserve and sit off us. We had to be patient and ultimately tired them out by keeping the ball. We’ve got good attacking players in the team, so it’s important that we keep it tight at the back to allow those forward players the opportunity to win us the game.”

The 20-year-old revealed that he is pleased with his own performances having marshalled Brentford to an eighth clean sheet of the season:

“A massive well done to Andreas (Bjelland) as he’s helped settle me into the team. I’m pleased with my performances. I’ve still got a lot to learn; when you play a striker like Gary Madine you’re always going to be locked in plenty of duels and it’s something I need to get better at. I’m constantly looking at my clips after games and putting in the hours on the training pitch to ensure that I’m going into those duels as positive as possible.”

The B Team graduate provided a clean bill of health having been on the end of a late Antonee Robinson challenge during the dying embers:

“I feel alright,” laughed Chris. “I was fuming at the time, but this is the Championship – challenges like that are going to happen. It’s important to keep your head and not let it affect you. They were chasing the game at that point; I think the challenge was out of frustration.”

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