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🗣 Sam Saunders: "The group have been outstanding"

Sam Saunders discusses the 1-1 draw with Grasshopper Club Zurich Under-21s and the recent form of the side

8 December 2019

Brentford B Assistant Coach Sam Saunders feels recent results have shown how far the team have progressed so far this season and says the side will be working hard to continue the positive momentum following a 1-1 draw with Grasshopper Club Zürich Under-21s.

The Bees fell behind to an impressive strike from Kevin Monzialo before Jaden Brissett netted his 11th goal of the season when he stepped up to convert a penalty before half-time.

Discussing the match and the side’s progression Sam explained: “I felt that we didn’t start great and the intensity levels to get out to the ball wasn’t the standard that we’ve set over the last few weeks. There could be a number of reasons for that, there were some different personnel and the boys that played haven’t had many minutes.

“Once they got up with the tempo of the game, I felt we improved after 15 minutes and going a goal down. We worked our way back into the game and got a deserved penalty which Jaden put away nicely again. I felt we were the better team, we huffed and puffed, but didn’t quite have the quality in front of goal to get the winner, but a lot of the boys that needed 90 minutes got them today and it finishes off a really tough block of games that we’ve had over the last few weeks.

“We, and the boys, feel that we’re fitter, stronger, and more educated in the way that we want to go about things and the way that we want to play. Since pre-season we’ve improved and the group have been outstanding, the amount of boys from the B team that have been in and around the first team in training and me and Neil really enjoy working with them.”

On the goal conceded, though Sam admitted the strike at goal was a good attempt, from a defensive point of view he feels the side could well have prevented falling behind.

“He hit it well, but I felt we gave the ball away poorly whilst in possession, whilst playing out from the back, and it led to their throw in which they scored from,” said Sam. “With every goal you always look at bits and bobs which as a team you can improve on. The player has hit a good strike nonetheless, but there are things leading up to the goal that we could have done better on and after looking at the video and speaking with the boys, I’m sure they’ll agree.”

With Jaden Brissett once again in the goals, the coach was full of praise for the youngster who continues to be a real attacking threat for the young Bees.

He continued: “The good thing about Jaden is, no matter how he is playing in the game, he won’t let it affect him. And as a manager or a coach it’s good because sometimes you leave Jaden on the pitch because you know he’s got a moment in him, sometimes he can produce a goal or an assist, I think that’s 11 goals for the season for him so he always contributes in the offensive third. He put the goal away, and as Jaden would say, his stats don’t lie. He’s got that mentality of scoring goals and assisting goals which is what we want out strikers and wide men to be thinking about because, ultimately, that’s where they’re judged.”

Neil MacFarlane’s side will now turn their attentions to another trip to Scotland next week as they take on Rangers on Tuesday, with some good results behind them.

He said: “It’s another game unbeaten, you look back to the match away at Celtic which was a fantastic performance and a good win against a strong side. Beating AFC Wimbledon’s first team on Friday and then going to Harrow (Borough) as well and winning. All four games have been different, which has been superb as fixtures because the boys are getting samples of different ways of playing, against different age groups, on different pitches, against different styles of play. As a learning curve for these boys, it’s fantastic.”

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