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Interviews

Allan Steele on 'the next challenge' for Brentford B

B Team Coach discusses B Team results and player progression

28 March 2018

B Team Coach Allan Steele was happy after he saw Brentford beat Chelsea U23s at Jersey Road on Tuesday.

Allan, also the Club's Education and Welfare Manager, spoke to iFollow after the game to talk about the performance and the impact of the First Team on the squad of Brentford B.

"I've been really pleased," he said. "I've been pleased with the influence the First Team players had on the group today. I'm really pleased with the way that the B Team players have shown that they can consistently perform against top opposition and top players. More and more now, they are trusted to do this and I think the next challenge for them is to do it at the higher level."

Asked about what impressed him most about the performance, Allan said: "There was a key moment just after half-time and those five minutes were the difference between us struggling in the second half, and maybe if we concede in those five minutes we allow Chelsea back into the game. Actually going out and scoring after five and a half minutes ultimately ended the game.

"After that it was professional and it was clinical because the chances were quite even. If you go back through the game now it wasn't a three-nil game. I think that was tighter than it looked, but we controlled that and were more clinical and definitely took our chances better today."

With five First Team players dropping into the B Team lineup, Allan spoke about the way the players approach their time with Kevin O'Connor's squad.

"If you look at the influence, and I know I alluded to it earlier, about how those First Team players affect the group; they've been superb. Absolutely superb. All those boys today came in and not only had a positive impact on our players, but also on the game. Whether it's goals, saves, assists or work rate, they all do something and they all give something to this group.

"Ultimately it's the boys that need to perform in a similar fashion so the way we prepare them, as a B Team or First Team, is to make sure that they are all working towards the same style of play. I think we saw that today, how the boys fitted in."

As a coach, Allan admitted that he was pleased with what he saw from the team. He was also keen to stress how proud he was of the individual performances from the boys in the past few weeks.

"I spoke to Kevin before the game, and we prepared the boys for this game where we felt that we are ready for the type of team we were going to face. Ultimately it's down to the players to go out and perform.

"We do ask them to perform as a group but we do have to allow every single one of them to be individual in their approach and in their performance. I can't ask for much more than today, whether it was from those that came off the bench, the B Team players or the First Team players."

After speaking in the past about the way the First Team staff can affect the game by watching from the stands, Allan addressed the way his team handled the game under the eyes of both Thomas Frank and Richard O'Kelly on Tuesday.

"To have people like that watching the games is ideal," said Allan. "They get to see them in training - and that's one of the strengths of our model, that the coaching staff do get to see our [B Team] players day in day out in training - but if our boys can go out and perform with those First Team players next to them, then it gives everyone something to think about.

"It just shows that there is a level of trust being built between the First Team players and B Team players, and also allows our players to do that in front of the First Team management staff. It's really pleasing, and it's brilliant to see the link between the two groups."

The dynamic developing at Brentford sees motivation to play in both the B Team and First Team squads. The B Team have several high profile games to come before May, while the First Team is obviously the main goal. Allan sees it as a concern for each individual player.

"I think each of them are motivated differently," said Allan. "If you look at the starting 11 today, each of them has something that they are working towards.

"Our games programme is set up to challenge the players and to try and prepare them for First Team football but it can never recreate that. That's the ultimate goal for a lot of these players, including the First Team players, to get back in that environment and playing competitive games that matter, and to try as best as possible to push this club forward."


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