Brentford number one Daniel Bentley believes Brentford can take confidence from the clubs draw away to the Championships top scorers West Bromwich Albion. Brentford came away with a 1-1 draw away at West Brom after the home side had laid siege to Bentley’s goal in a first-half display that saw Brentford narrowly escape with a 0-0 scoreline.
“We Showed We Can Defend”
After a rough opening to Thomas Frank’s reign, Bentley believes that Monday night saw a change in the way Brentford have been defending this season, with the shot-stopper praising their defending, especially considering the opposition on Monday night
“I think it was certainly a test for us in terms of putting our bodies on the line, making last-ditch challenges to block shots, winning first balls and aerial duels in our box. I think is all important winning second balls as well and making sure our clearances are going in good areas.”
“I think it’s a really difficult place to go, and I think if you would’ve said to us after the barrage of chances that they (West Brom) had in the first half and the pressure, that we’d come away with a draw and conceded one goal I think we would’ve taken it because they had a fair few chances and like you made reference to there, they are high scoring and they score a lot of goals, certainly at home.”
As well as Brentford’s defending, Bentley was also high in praise for West Brom’s attack, alluding to their vast experiences. He believes the confidence of playing well against such a team can be taken forward, having only positive effects for Brentford.
“I think that has certainly added to the mentality of the team in which we know we can defend against a very, very good team and they’ve got players that have played in the Premier League and many, many games in the championship, so for example, Jay Rodriguez, (Hal) Robson-Kanu, who has played at the highest level and Dwight Gayle came on, played at the highest level.”
“That was the test that we had to step up to, and it was important that we did that, and I felt we did, and I think you’re right in what you’re saying we can take the confidence from that in terms of the next game.”
Too Many Chances Conceded
Bentley was also critical of his-self and the team conceding many chances. He warned his teammates that they can’t be conceding too many chances, saying he’d take a 1-0 win every time.
“I think first and foremost we don’t want to concede chances, you know we don’t want to ride our luck and you know concede five or six shots in the first half, whatever the case was on Monday.” Yes they had probably at least two or three good chances, but we don’t want to give those away, we don’t want to be riding on the edge of a knife in which it could go one way, and we could be 3-0 down at half-time, or it could be 0-0 and they’ve failed to take them.”
“So those are things we’ve definitely had a look at on a daily basis were working our defensive shape, our unit and making sure that we stop crosses into the box and get first contacts, but I don’t think that we should go with the mentality into games that we need to be outscoring opponents. I’ll take a 1-0 win all day long, and I think pretty much everyone else would as well, rather than a 3-2 or a 4-3, personally I don’t want to concede one goal never mind three. So a clean sheet and a 1-0 win will do me nicely.”
Defensive Performances Under Frank
Brentford have been quite unlucky defensively under Frank, often losing games by the odd goal rather than two, three or four. Brentford have lost by a one-goal margin in all six of their defeats under Thomas Frank so far this season.
However it isn’t the margin of the defeats that have defined Brentford this season, rather it is the manner in which they’ve conceded goals that have really let the Bees’ downfall. If we are to look at the expected goals statistics for the six defeats Brentford have suffered under Frank. Brentford have conceded more goals than they should be in three of their six defeats. What this means is, opposition teams have scored more goals than chances they’ve created in games against Brentford.
This shows just how costly defensive errors have been for Brentford under Frank this season. However, Monday night’s draw away to the Championships top scorer’s, West Brom, should lift confidence and spirits ahead of a big test against the Premier League’s other relegated side from last season, Swansea City.
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