Smith Wants Fulham Win
Head coach Dean Smith has called on the Brentford players to send the fans back to work happy in this weekend's clash against near neighbours Fulham.
Heading to Craven Cottage on Saturday for the Championship clash, Smith knows the players need no additional motivation for the tie but he's looking for us to play with sense, take the victory and put a smile on the supporters' faces.
Speaking to the Official Site in his pre game press conference, Smith said he knew the game would be tough but we go into it in good form having won five of the last seven and he's looking for that to become six in the last eight.
'The magnitude of local derbies certainly makes it easier to get the players up for it. We just played QPR at home and the players were certainly up for that. We didn`t play anywhere as near as they can but they were up for it and they will certainly be up for the Fulham game as well. We know what a good team they are and they deservedly beat us at home. We need to be at our best because they are pushing for the Play-Offs. They have done a fantastic job there and built a good team. The fans want to go back to work with a smile on their face, talking about their team winning again.'
With Fulham the leading scorers in the Championship this season with 82 goals in 44 games so far, Brentford are only nine goals behind them given our efforts and on that front alone Smith is expecting an entertaining match.
'We analyse the opposition in every game but a large part of our working week is on what we can do not on what the opposition can do. We are quite confident in what we can do and the players that we have got. We invest a lot of trust and confidence in the players to play how we can. Their front three last week of Floyd Ayite, Sone Aluko, and Ryan Sessegnon were very bright and had great rotation. It was the same with Tom Cairney, Steffan Johansen, and Kevin McDonald in midfield. They are very fluid as a team and similar to ourselves in many ways. I think I saw a stat that Fulham had been involved in the most goals in the Championship and we had been involved in the third most so you certainly get your monies worth in terms of entertainment. It makes for a really good game.'
In terms of team news for the weekend, Smith admitted we have a couple of worries.
'We still have a few little niggles so we will have to look at them over the next 24 hours or so to see if they are ready. Ryan Woods got a whack on the foot which is still a little bit swollen. Andreas Bjelland should be back in the squad but he hasn`t played minutes since Ipswich Town so it would be a risk to put him in the starting XI. This game might come too quickly for Alan McCormack but Lasse Vibe has had his stitches out so they are all fighting fit.'
Victory on Saturday would see Brentford surpass our points tally from last season and that was a particular delight for Smith in terms of the progress made.
'We have progressed as a team and a club from the moment that I have come in to where we are now. Whether we pass the points tally or not our football is better and our style of play is getting there. The players are looking better and competing at a higher level in this league. When I first came here the talk was about us not beating the top six but we have certainly shown we can do that. We are very competitive now and we need to keep pushing that on. We certainly need to add to our squad, we know that. While it is great that the B Team players are getting the experience, and it is something we want to do, we know that if we want to challenge for a top six squad we need to add more quality to that. We are certainly looking to do that.'