It was press day yesterday, ahead of Brentford playing their final pre-Christmas game with Saturday’s trip to Leeds United. As Dean Smith gets the chance to take on his former team-mate Garry Monk and our own form finally turning around with those back to back wins, could the Bees make it three in a row?
The bookies have the home team as favourites. Not surprising for a side who have only lost 1 of their last 8 at Elland Road and who are currently in the process of bolstering their position in the play-off zone. But the Bees are firing again, creating chances and even putting some of the away. At times via the boot of goal machine Scott Hogan; at others via the backside of Maxime Colin. But however they go in, they all count.
We’ll be boosted by Daniel Bentley being selected for the EFL team of midweek although, by all accounts, Tom Field can probably feel somewhat aggrieved not to have joined him. Which begs another question – does Dean stick with his young protégé ? With three wins from three Brentford appearances he has looked nothing but assured and I’m sure he’ll get a start.
The other Dean related talking point is one which came from Thursday’s press conference. The last two weeks have given us ‘blips’ and ‘skill sets’ but this time around it was all about who was on the grass.
Amongst other injury updates he told us that:
“Rico Henry has been out on the grass with us”
“The squad is looking well and there are a lot more bodies on the grass now which is really good.”
“A lot of players will be coming back onto the grass with us”
But it wasn’t all about getting on the grass, as he added:
“A lot of this week is recovery and the analysis suite, not the grass “
But the one that really caught my eye was a line that could have come straight from the big book of Warburton That, of course, a volume that over the years produced such classics as : “The football department is in good shape” , “raw, blistering pace”, “Pitch geography” , “Andre Gray – the thinking striker “ and, of course, “You walk around the stadium, the first time for me this morning, and you smell the history.”
Positive news about Alan Judge was shared with Dean’s revelation that the player “Is out there sprinting and getting his deceleration correct in terms of his mechanics.”
Despite sounding more like an Austin Allegro than a footballer, we can only be very excited by this update. Will he play again this season? Will it be for Brentford?
For now, that’s all secondary. Just the fact that he is at the stage of recovery after suffering that horror challenge at Ipswich can only be cause for celebration.
Here’s hoping it is cause enough to inspire his teammates to that third win on the spin.