Brentford Head Coach Dean Smith felt his side didn’t do enough with the possession they had as they played out a 1-1 draw with Sheffield United on a soaking afternoon at Griffin Park. Incessant rain made it a difficult afternoon for both sides on a heavy pitch in West London and while Dean was disappointed with his side’s quality, he couldn’t question their work-rate or attitude.
“Today it’s a point gained because I didn’t think we played well,” Dean admitted to iFollow Brentford after the game. “We started the game quite well but then we lost our way a little bit; we gave the ball away far too cheaply which is unlike us. Conditions certainly didn’t help but to be fair the lads kept going. They have a lot of heart and character but we didn’t show the quality today. We didn’t create enough good opportunities to go and win the game. When it went to ten vs ten we had enough possession to do a little bit better with it. When we counter-attacked them we generally gave the ball away and allowed them to counter-attack us. Fortunately, Dan saved a couple of one-on-ones but, such is the quality of Dan, I would have expected him to save them.”
It was a tepid first-half from both sides before the game sprung into life after the break. Chris Basham’s deflected shot put The Blades ahead before Chris Mepham levelled with his first professional goal. In the aftermath of Mepham’s equaliser, Ryan Woods and Blades goalkeeper Jamal Blackman were both sent off for an off the ball incident.
Looking back on the big moments in the second-half, Dean said: “We wanted to start the second-half well but defensively we have got to do a bit better with our blocks. We got half a body in front of it and it deflected in. For me Basham’s foul was exactly the same as he’d already got booked for; it should have been a second booking and a red card. Ironically, we scored from that free-kick but then Ryan Woods gets sent off. I haven’t seen it back but I have spoken to him. Ryan said he grabbed him. I certainly saw their goalkeeper strike him in the face, so that was deserved, but I don’t know what Ryan has done to get sent off.”
There’s little time to wait until The Bees’ next Sky Bet Championship outing as Dean Smith and his side head down to Ashton Gate on Monday to face Bristol City. With other results this afternoon leaving The Bees seven points outside the top six with seven games to go, Dean admits it’s still very much a must-win game.
“It will be a big game for both teams,” said Dean. “Nothing has changed. It is still must-win. The less games you have left then the less likely you are to make the Play-Offs if you don’t win games. We have gone four without a win now. We have played very well in two of those games and should have got something. We have to turn that around very quickly now on Monday.”