Brentford Head Coach Dean Smith felt the better side won tonight as The Bees saw their three-match winning run come to an end against the runaway Sky Bet Championship leaders at Molineux. The two sides went in level at the break but two goals in as many minutes after the interval from Ruben Neves and Barry Douglas put Wolves in control. Diogo Jota bundled home a third late on to wrap up what Dean felt was a deserved victory for the home side.
Speaking to iFollow Brentford after the game, Dean said: “We have given too many good chances away. If you come to play against the best team in the league then you have to be better than we were tonight. We did ok but you have to be better than ok. We probably had more possession than them but they defended well and we gave too many big chances away. We tried to be quite brave today as we wanted to be aggressive and knock them out of their rhythm. If we had got the first goal then I think we could have gone on and won the game. They just showed their quality with the finishes in the end. If anybody finishes above Wolves this season then that team will definitely win the league.”
Neves’ opener came about after Ryan Woods hauled down Jota on the edge of the box having given the ball away while the second saw Douglas slam home first time from 18 yards. The icing on the cake came as The Bees failed to clear a corner and Jota poked home from close range. With all three goals coming from set-pieces, Dean admitted Wolves should have been made to work harder for their goals.
“The manner of the goals was the disappointing thing,” said Dean. “We got in at 0-0 having had opportunities, not chances, whereas they had chances. You think you can pick it up second-half but unfortunately Ryan Woods gets caught on the ball and gives away a soft foul. I suppose that is what the money does, it sticks it in the top corner. They score from three set-pieces really: a free-kick they stick into the top corner, a throw-in where they should never have got out, and a scramble from a corner. We deserved to get beaten as they were better than us tonight and we have to be better than ok when we come to places like this.”
Tonight’s defeat means The Bees have taken nine points from a possible 12 this Christmas to cruise into the top-half of the Championship table. Given the pedigree of Wolves’ summer signings Dean admitted it was no disgrace to lose tonight but said the important thing now is the team’s reaction to this setback.
“I have just said in there that I am disappointed and gutted for them,” said Dean. “The bigger picture is that Wolves have spent nearly £40 million and this was always going to be a tough place to come to. The players had a lot of belief that we could come here and match them. Unfortunately, their quality just shone through. However, it’s been a very good festive period with three wins on the spin so we have to put this behind us now and move on. We are disappointed that we didn’t play better but we have had three wins against Norwich City, Aston Villa, and Sheffield Wednesday. Now we have to get ready for Notts County in the FA Cup.”