Brentford B Head Coach Neil MacFarlane is expecting another difficult encounter when he takes his side to take on Celtic Reserves in Scotland on Tuesday afternoon.
The young Bees were north of the border in late September as they took on Aberdeen and Hibernian’s reserve sides, and after competitive fixtures then, which saw one win and one loss, the Head Coach is expecting more of the same as they take on Celtic.
The 42-year-old explained: “It will be a really tough game which is why we go to these places to play these types of matches. If you relate it to when we were in Scotland last, to Aberdeen, it was a top game which we won.
“We then had one of the best games of the season at Easter Road against Hibs when they played numerous first team players. We were really tested that day, obviously going 3-0 behind at one point but showing the character, which is evident in this squad, to get back to 3-2 and probably deserved a draw in the end. Those two games over the four days are exactly what we’ll experience when we go to play Celtic and then Rangers over the next month.”
Having been on a positive run in recent weeks prior to the international break which saw good performances in Spain against Albacete Under-19s and FC Cartagena, Neil says the side have been showing good form of late and are looking to keep the improvements coming.
“We’ve been working on set plays continuously because that was one of the elements, particularly against Hibs, in which we let ourselves down on,” said the Brentford B Head Coach. “Things change through the course of a season; you have to continually be on the training ground looking at things that you want to improve and get better at. Then it’s about re-emphasising what you’re good at and reinforce it to continually strive for excellence. We’re really looking forward to the game against Celtic, it’s going to be massive for us.”
This will be the young Bees’ first taste of action following the international break, and having seen the likes of Simon Andersson, Fredrik Hammar, Joe Adams, David Titov, Gustav Mogensen, Mads Roerslev, Japhet Sery Larsen and Jaakko Oksanen all called up for their international sides, Neil believes everyone at the club can be proud of.
He continued: “Thomas (Frank) eluded to it earlier on in the week, and it’s fantastic for the club to have numerous first team players play internationally and then that dripping down to the B team with players playing at under-21 and under-19 levels. It’s fantastic, they’ve come back fit and healthy which is the most important thing, and the pleasing thing to see is the amount of game time that they’re getting with their countries. We’re very proud of them and long may that continue.”
Following the match with Celtic, the side will quickly turn their attentions to London Senior Cup action against Harrow Borough before matches with Grasshopper Zurich Under-23s before they return to Scotland to take on Rangers reserves.
“We’ve got a game almost every three days in the lead up to Christmas which is good,” said Neil. “They (the players) have to gain that mentality of the relentlessness to go Saturday, Wednesday, and then Saturday again. If they’re required for the first team at some point in the future then that’s what happens in England, the fixture calendar lends itself to that. They’ve got no problems with the amount of games, the players want to play games, and that’s why we’re out there training properly so when these games come along, they are ready to go.”