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Interviews

'Play quick, attacking, two-touch football'

Kevin O'Connor talks B Team philosophy and last week's abandoned match

4 March 2018

B Team Head Coach Kevin O'Connor sat down with iFollow this week to discuss the B Team and the havoc caused by recent snow in West London.

Asked if these were the worst conditions he's known at Brentford, Kevin said: "The cold is. The snow is one thing, we can deal with that, but with the wind as well it's just bitterly cold. I think it is the worst, the only other time it was like this was when we had Yeovil away on Boxing Day and luckily that got cancelled. That was the only time we have had it as bad, but it is absolutely freezing.

"It's really hard because all your plans go out the window. We're trying to find somewhere to train, as the First Team are, and we managed to get the 4G just down the road. There's only so much you can do on that, so yes it does change things. As long as you get some training into the boys it's better than nothing."

Kevin then explained why losing the ability to train at Jersey Road was a problem.

"It's a truer roll of the ball [on the AstroTurf], it's not grass so there's not as much grip. The surface is harder, and it's just a different type of game on there so you have to adjust. It's not too bad, it's a good backup and a good second option, but it's not grass."

The B Team saw a game with Swansea City abandoned last week after heavy snow stopped the game just after the second half restart. 

"It was good to get some minutes into the players' legs and we played really well," said Kevin. "They were a bit younger than us, I expected to win the game when I saw their team and it was good to be four-nil up at half-time.

"We went in and everything was fine, 15 minutes later we came out and it was like walking into a different country with the amount of snow that had fallen. It wasn't snowing before half-time but in that 15 minute spell it was unreal. It was unplayable unfortunately but it was still good to get those minutes, unfortunately we couldn't finish the game."

Kevin and B Team Coach Allan Steele did grab brooms and start sweeping the sidelines, but they knew it was a lost cause.

"It was never happening," said Kevin. "It was more for comedy effect really. As soon as we walked out I knew we couldn't play because all the snow was clogging on the players' boots and basically turning them into skates, so it wasn't safe. At that point, we had to call it off."

"I said to the lads before the game, it's about our tempo and our standards, regardless of Swansea or their age. We had to keep our standards up and play quick, attacking, two-touch football. I thought for the main, we did that really well and created lots of chances."

With the B Team out of full match action since they returned from Ireland, largely due to weather conditions, Kevin addressed what happens for the squad to keep them sharp.

"Ideally you'd have a game once a week, just to keep the focus on the games and we can train according to that. It's just another challenge. It's another challenge for me as a coach to keep the players going and for the players themselves to keep preparing right and training right while waiting for the next game.

"I suppose you can relax your mind a little bit at times. This isn't a bad thing, especially with the league as hectic as once a week and maybe twice a week. The break for the First Team probably isn't the worst thing in the world.

"For us, I suppose we play nearly as often as the First Team so it's not too bad to have a little mental break from the matches and then go back into the next games when you are refreshed."


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