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🗣 Sam Saunders: "The mindset of the football club is to go and attack"

Sam Saunders discusses the latest win for Brentford B

29 October 2019

Brentford B coach Sam Saunders says the side can once again take a number of positives after their 6-2 victory over Bromley at Jersey Road.

Having navigated their way past Reading Under-23s last Wednesday and then Hanwell Town on Saturday in the Middlesex FA Senior Challenge Cup, they were quickly back in action on Monday as they took on the National League side.

The match saw Dru Yearwood net a hat-trick whilst there were also goals for Joe Hardy, Tom Field and Jayden Onen as The Bees came from behind to claim a victory with some impressive finishing.

Reflecting on the match, the Brentford B coach said: “You always want to score, we spoke about that before when we won 8-1 (v FFDTV Academy), ideally we would have liked a bit of a tougher test for the boys but they worked hard, they didn’t get slack, moved the ball quickly and kept passing and moving forwards.

“We managed to get the third, fourth, fifth and we kept going for it. The mindset of the football club is to go and attack teams and play attacking football, so it’s good to get more goals. It’s good for Dru to get three goals and another 90 minutes under his belt, and we’ve also got some boys looking to go out to get loan moves so it’s good for them to get minutes under their belts as well. We’ve got no injuries, 90 minutes’ worth of football and six goals, so it was a pleasing afternoon.”

With a number of changes made to the starting line-up the match presented a good opportunity for players who had not had a great deal of game time in recent weeks to get some minutes under their belts with Joe Hardy finding the net, and there were some positive displays from the likes of Tom Field, who also scored, as well as Ali Coote and Cole Dasilva.

On giving game time to those who have not featured a great deal of late, Sam explained: “We put this game in because we’ve got some B Team boys playing every week, and guys that we’re looking to find loan moves for, so it’s a case of tying fixtures up in between some of the B Team games.

“In terms of training they’ve been a different class and their attitudes have been spot on, I can’t ask for more from the boys because I know that at the minute they’re in a bit of a frustrating place because they’re not quite in the B Team and they’re not quite in the first team fold, so they’ve got to try and find some first team football somewhere. I’ve been there, I understand what they’re going through, but as long as they keep giving me everything in training like they have been doing, it shows when they do get their 11 a side games that they are ready and hopefully when a loan opportunity comes along they can hit the ground running.”

The match saw The Bees have to come from behind for their second successive match as Herson Alvis curled a free-kick into the net after just two minutes. Despite that, Brentford B forced their way back into the match and took the game away from the opposition which pleased Sam a great deal.

“The last two games we’ve gone behind after 20 seconds, on Saturday I felt we’d had the best warm up we’ve ever had, and we were 2-0 down after 10 minutes,” said Sam. “We also ask for reactions, even if the boys give the ball away it’s about how you react, it’s part and parcel of football. If you’re a possession-based team, an attacking team, then you’re going to give the ball away and you will concede goals sometimes.

“Yes, we conceded an early goal, but we didn’t come away from the right things that we do which is move the ball quickly. We created two goals (in the first half) to make it 2-1 and then they hit us on the counter-attack and then it’s 2-2. We had to keep doing the right things and tighten up at the back. We’re always confident that we’re going to score, that’s the way we want to play, we won’t change the philosophy of this football club, that’s what we do in the first team and that’s what we’ll try to emulate in the B Team.”

With Dru Yearwood netting three goals as he builds up his fitness following injury, Sam was pleased to give him the opportunity to keep progressing as he looks towards putting himself into first team contention.

Sam continued: “It’s been difficult for Dru because he came in and was behind in terms of the fitness levels in comparison to Southend’s pre-season and what we do here, and then he picked up an injury whilst playing for us after scoring a couple of goals.

“So, he’s been stop-start, but he’s come back and we want him to build on his numbers. I couldn’t care less how he plays; we just want him to get the figures that he needs to fitness-wise. He’s popped up with three goals as well which is always a bonus. As soon as he can start hitting the targets set by the first team in terms of distances covered and sprints then he’ll be closer, he knows that and understands that, but he’s still young and he has a long contract here because there’s a long-term plan for Dru. Hopefully, if he keeps working hard like he is, and he’s a fantastic lad, he can go and get his rewards.”

Having come through three different tests over the past week, Sam explained the schedule is providing a number of different opponents for the team to test themselves against. Having taken three wins against Reading, Hanwell and Bromley, the side will now set their sights on two fixtures in Spain next week as the learning and development of the team continues.

He said: “Allan Steele (B Team Assistant Coach and Technical Lead) works very hard with the fixtures and we try and make the games slightly different so the players can face different challenges, and the last three games (v Reading Under-23, Hanwell Town and Bromley) couldn’t be more different if you tried, so now we’ve got a few days before we go to Spain for a couple of fixtures, and they will be different tests again.

“They’re different fixtures, which is what we want, they’re not stale, it’s always fresh and the players are always learning and there are different things to learn from each game. As coaches we learn about the players from the different situations as well and, hopefully, as players they learn about themselves.

“Every game on the schedule is a different challenge, they’re Spanish teams so they’ll be different to what we’ve faced against Bromley and Hanwell. We’ll see what they’re set up like and we’ll do our analysis on them and it will be a good test to see how the boys react against this different opposition, but they’ll be another test and will hopefully improve the lads because that’s what we’re here to do. Since the second that myself and Neil (MacFarlane) came through the door we’ve seen a big growth and improvement from the lads and hopefully that continues.”

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