After another painful wait for a game following last Friday’s shoeing at Brighton, it’s almost time to step back up to the plate with a trip to Sheffield Wednesday. The Hillsborough outfit will, of course, be looking to consolidate their place in the play-off zone. Before all that, though, we see the main swathe of tickets for QPR going on sale today.
It would be fair to say that, Chelsea aside, Brentford were kings of West London football last season. We finished well clear of Fulham whilst taking all 6 points and 6 goals off them in the League. Stuart Dallas scored THAT goal whilst Jota did his thing in the last minute. Twice.
QPR, meanwhile, slid out of the Premier League after a poor, poor campaign – returning to the second tier of English football once more. This time around, things haven’t been much better for either of our divisional rivals. Fulham are 11 points behind the Bees whilst despite a recent resurgence for the Loftus Road mob, it is still the Bees who occupy 12th to their 13th. Plus we have the advantage of first bragging rights as Marco Djuricin popped up with the only goal of the game when we secured all three points at Griffin Park back in October.
Tickets are sure to fly for those who now have the requisite amount of points. Last year’s ‘loyalty’ being this years ‘TAP’. Rightly so, we all love a local derby and will be desperate to get one over our neighbours in their own, cramped, stadium. With only half the allocation we normally get for Craven Cottage available, it is sure to be a packed and noisy crowd. I can’t wait.
Before all that is Sheffield Wednesday. With the Bees now 10 points (effectively 11 with goal difference) off the 6th place that they occupy, anything but a win will ,surely, spell the end to the play-off aspirations that Dean Smith was still harbouring after the game at the Amex.
Despite his observation that , “We have 16 games and 48 points to play for, while there is still an opportunity to make the Play-Offs we will go for it”, I don’t think many are fooled. Sorry Dean but I can do the maths. Much as I love the Bees and only want the best for us, I’m also realistic. And can read a form table.
If that was, perhaps, a soundbite he was obliged to give, yesterday’s press day saw him come out with two much more positive / realistic ones. Firstly, that, “ I am not a massive fan of possession stats because they don’t always mean you will win the game,”
Hallelujah! As, I’ve been saying all season – all the possession in the world and sideways passing counts for naff all if you can’t get the ball in the back of the net or even manage a shot. Brighton saw the quintessential example of this. Despite seeing 65% of the ball, the Bees only managed one effort on target and went down 3-0. Here’s hoping lessons have been learned.
Equally pertinent were his observations about training. Specifically that Scott Hogan is getting stuck in and has really impressed after being out for so long. This is stunning news for the player but , equally, perhaps the motivation that everybody needs after Dean’s previous bombshell about us lacking intensity.
Sheffield Wednesday will provide a phenomenal challenge. If only for our supporters having to listen to ‘that band’. Yet if Dean’s words are to be believed, then we’ve got a team that are going to go for it
On Saturday, we find out.