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“They are a physical team and we didn’t deal with their physicality”

Dean Smith on tonight’s defeat to Cardiff City at Griffin Park

13 March 2018

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Brentford Head Coach Dean Smith was disappointed with the goals that his side conceded as The Bees fell to a 3-1 defeat at home to Cardiff City this evening. A defensive mistake from Josh Clarke, and two goals from set-pieces, saw Neil Warnock’s side come away from Griffin Park with the points. Speaking after the game to iFollow Brentford, Dean felt the timing of the second goal, coming seconds before the interval, couldn’t have been worse for his side.

“They are a physical team and we didn’t deal with their physicality,” said Dean. “If we had gone in 1-1 then I think we win the game. It was hard to take but the lads still believed they could turn it around. I have no idea why the free-kick [for the third goal] was given. The referee was inconsistent throughout the game but we still had to go and defend it. As soon as the third goal went in there were panic stations every time they got a free-kick. We have to dust ourselves down. It is a defeat but they have beaten a lot of teams this season.”

Cardiff, who came to Griffin Park having won six on the bounce, were rocked in the opening minutes as Brentford started brightly. Neal Maupay had already seen a shot blocked before he opened the scoring after five minutes as The Bees took the game to Warnock’s side. Dean felt that his side’s desire to kill the game off early left them a little open at the back and allowed The Bluebirds back into the game.

“It wasn’t quite the perfect start as we had a great move in the first minute that we probably should have scored from,” said Dean. “Neal Maupay got the other side of them and Sergi Canos slips him in for a great finish. After that we were thinking that we could go on and comfortably win as we had started so well. The only danger was that the game became a little bit too open as we had our tails up and felt we could get another. However, we didn’t close the back door and let them get in a couple of times. It all came down to a couple of mistakes and two set pieces that we didn’t deal with.”

Defeat leaves The Bees eight points outside the top six with nine Sky Bet Championship games remaining. With Middlesbrough up next at Griffin Park on Saturday, Dean feels every game now is a cup final as the matches begin to run out.

“The gap is still the same,” admitted Dean. “We would like to go into the international break with a victory. It is going to be a tough game because they are going well too. Every game is going to be a cup final for us. If we want to hang onto the coat-tails of those above us we have to make sure we win games, starting on Saturday.”

Dean was deprived of the services of Danish international Henrik Dalsgaard in the build-up to the game after his wife went into an unexpected labour.

“Henrik and his wife were expecting a baby and it arrived this morning,” revealed Dean. “It was a little bit of a rush job and he hasn’t slept in 36 hours. She was in hospital but they didn’t think the birth would be as quick as it was. He was a big loss for us as he is one of our more physical players and could have helped us in our box tonight.”

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