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Dean Smith: 'Our use of the football was really good'

Head Coach gives his thoughts after 2-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers

13 January 2018

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Dean Smith was pleased to see his side beat Bolton Wanderers at Griffin Park on Saturday afternoon. Speaking to iFollow after the match, he discussed the match and chasing the Play-Offs.

"I'm really pleased," said Dean. "I think we deserved to win the game. To be honest, at one-nil I thought we were as comfortable as we could be at one-nil. We had chances where we could have made it more and probably killed the game a little bit earlier.

"I've said to the players, one of the things that pleased me was the way we defended set-pieces and a lot of balls into the box. Gary Madine's as good as you get at this level, in terms of using his height and body.

"Young Mepham did well as did Andreas Bjelland, and it was really nice to keep a clean sheet. I was particularly pleased to see Neal Maupay get the goal at the end. He came on for Lasse, who had run his socks off, made the ball stick with him and put it in."

After Brentford went out of the FA Cup last weekend, Dean was pleased to see his side bounce back in such controlling fashion. 

"It's always nice," he said. "We've won four out of the last five league games, and that's what is important. There's a group of players that are working hard for each other. We are starting to get a fully fit squad now, which makes me believe that we can be even more dangerous.

"There were a lot of questions thrown at us earlier on in the season for losing leads and in the last few games I don't think we've looked like losing the lead when we've gone ahead."

Chris Mepham and Andreas Bjelland endured a bombardment of long balls in the second half, which is something Dean was pleased to see go in Brentford's favour.

"It was very physical," said Dean. "I thought they stood up to it and dealt with set-pieces really well. That includes Yoann Barbet and Nico Yennaris. I thought our use of the football was really good, we probably could have done better with a couple of transitions when we won the ball back and killed the game. I'm really pleased with the performance and the work rate from the players."

The match also saw the introduction of Kamohelo Mokotjo to a role further up the pitch. This is something that Dean and the coaching staff are looking forward to testing.

"It's something that we feel he has got in his game," said Dean. "He's got lots of leg power, he can go all day, and he makes some really good deep runs. He probably needs a little bit of work on his finishing at the moment."

Only three points from the top six in the Sky Bet Championship, Dean Smith's side are definitely chasing down the leading pack in the hunt for a Play-Off spot. On this topic, Dean said: "I said to the players before the game, there are 20 games to go but I'm not setting any targets. The target is the next game and to get the three points and we managed to do that today, which is pleasing."

Reading and Norwich City earned Brentford four points in the reverse fixtures this season, Dean looked ahead to what is to come in the next few weeks during the return legs. 

"I'm not very good at predictions," he said. "If we put in the same level of effort and quality, then we have got a good chance of winning them. They'll certainly give different tests. We had a good game at Reading last season and ended up losing it, so we want to make sure we can go there and be good without the ball as well as with it. It will certainly be another tough test."

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