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Interviews

Kevin O'Connor gives us his thoughts on 17/18 campaign

B Team Head Coach reflects on positive season for Brentford B

9 May 2018

Kevin O'Connor spoke to iFollow after Brentford B's 3-2 win over Manchester City U23 at Griffin Park on Tuesday night. The B Team Head Coach talked us through the season from his perspective, and reflected on the City result.

"It was a very tough first half," he said. "The first 20 minutes was tough, they moved the ball very well and we had to adjust things at half-time, which the boys did fantastically in the second half. Then we built the momentum and scored three really good goals.

"I said to them there in the changing room that they have been fantastic this season. I thanked them an awful lot for their efforts and they fully deserved that second half and to take the win today."

Kevin praised the support of Dean Smith and his coaching staff for their help this season.

"They are always backing us," he said. "They come to all the games they can and they are here again tonight. Dean spoke at the end and just congratulated the players. He wished the ones that were moving on well and it was quite emotional in the changing room because that's the end of an era with that group. We wish them well for their futures."

Kevin then looked to sum up the year on the whole.

"There have been a lot more positives," he said. "There's been the odd performance that has been disappointing but I think it happens at this age. On the full, we've been very good and I've been very pleased with them.

"Rob [Rowan] does really well with the games, as we know. When we give the teams good games like we have tonight I'm sure Man City will want to play us again and that's all you can do. You give them a game and hopefully we can get another game out of it and it goes from there, we can build a relationship."

We also asked Kevin about the support he has received from his staff during this campaign, and he gave us a glowing report. He said: "They've been amazing. Allan Steele, my assistant coach, has been amazing and top quality as have all the staff. We have good open discussions where everyone can say whatever they feel like and that's the atmosphere and environment that we are creating at the Club. Everyone's been brilliant, I can speak highly enough of them."

Looking back on the high points from this season, Kevin spoke about his picks for the 2017/18 campaign.

"Chris Mepham's step up to the First Team has been a massive highlight for everyone at the Club. For us, the second half performance in tonight's game was brilliant. The Rangers game away from home and the Manchester United game at Griffin Park. There have been so many, it's not easy just to pick one out but there were a lot of good performances.

"It's challenging, and that's what it has got to be for me to develop and the staff to develop and the players. So, keep the challenges coming we'll do what we can do."

Has Kevin enjoyed himself as Head Coach this season? He said: "Very much so. It's about a lot of stuff off the pitch, you have to deal with, which isn't always ideal but that's life. I'm learning to deal with that better and on the pitch and on the grass it has been brilliant. I'm learning, still making mistakes but I think that's what it is all about."

Over 400 fans came to Griffin Park to watch the B Team's final game, something Kevin was pleased to see. 

"We want as many as we can," he said. "I thank the fans for coming down because it's the end of the season and all credit to them for coming down to cheer the team on. I hope they enjoyed it."

Kevin also took us through the summer plan for his squad and his staff.

"It's the standard stuff, body weights and body fats. We give them training plans so that when they come back in we don't have to start right at the beginning. Then we can maybe even start a week ahead, so there will be a standard off-season plan.

"Also, they've got to have a relax and enjoy themselves because they are young men as well, and we're fully aware of that. Same with the staff, we have to relax and enjoy ourselves and then we recharge the batteries and go again."


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