Bees Head Coach Dean Smith felt a lack of quality in the final third was his team’s undoing this afternoon after they felt to a first home defeat since August at Griffin Park.
The visiting Canaries struck the only goal of the game after five minutes as James Maddison found the top corner from 30 yards. The Bees dominated from there on, registering 22 efforts on goal, but didn’t really test Angus Gunn in the away goal as Daniel Farke’s side took the points back to East Anglia.
Speaking to iFollow Brentford after the game, Dean said: “We worked very hard today and I feel that the better team got beaten. We played some good stuff up to the final third but then rushed it. I felt we needed to wait for the right moments and we didn’t do that often enough. I certainly can’t knock the lads for effort or passion. They are a good team and we pinned them into their half for the second period. Unfortunately, it was one of those days as, on another day, you go and win that game comfortably. The boy stuck their goal in the top corner and, unfortunately, one of the disappointing things for me was that our lads tried to do that a little bit too often. When there were better opportunities we were shooting from big distances and they were defending well. I think Norwich will feel fortunate that they have gone away with all three points.”
The win brings to an end The Bees 13 match unbeaten run at home in the Sky Bet Championship, with The Canaries joining Nottingham Forest as the only two sides to take maximum points from their trips to TW8. Today’s reverse was also just a fourth league defeat in 22 and Dean wants his side to dust themselves down and start again when they head to Derby County next weekend.
“We start again,” said Dean. “We have lost two games in the league here and not deserved to lose either of them. It is one of those things that happens and what you do is start again. We have to get back to it and train on Monday. We will review the game and reflect on what we did well and what we can do a bit better. However, on the whole I am not going to be too downbeat over what I thought was a decent performance. We are on a fantastic run and that will continue.”
The January transfer window closes in just four days’ time and speculation has grown in recent days over the future of striker Lasse Vibe. The Danish international was left out of the starting XI this afternoon as, Dean revealed after the match, he is in talks with another club. While Dean is not yet resigned to losing his frontman, he feels that there is more than enough quality in The Bees squad to absorb the impact of Lasse’s departure.
“Lasse is negotiating with another football club, which is his prerogative,” revealed Dean. “The club is fully aware of what is happening but all parties have to agree. Romaine Sawyers was ill this morning so we had to make a couple of changes today. Neal Maupay knew late yesterday that he would be in the starting line-up today. He’s been ill this week and I would have liked our supporters to have got behind him a lot more today. We can cope with those losses because of the squad that we have got. We are always looking but we feel that we have a good enough squad. We have Neal who is our second top scorer this season. We have Ollie Watkins who showed today that he can play that part up front. We have Emiliano Marcondes who can play up there as well so we are not short of options, that’s for sure.”