Brentford boss Dean Smith declared himself ‘very pleased’ with this afternoon’s performance as The Bees booked a place in the Fourth Round of the Emirates FA Cup after a 5-1 win over Eastleigh at Griffin Park. All the goals came in the first-half as Yoann Barbet’s penalty, Tom Field’s first senior goal, and a Lasse Vibe strike had The Bees 3-0 up midway through the half. Ayo Obileye pulled one back but Field and Romaine Sawyers netted before the break to fire Brentford into Round Four.
Speaking to Bees Player after the match, Dean said: “It was very professional and I was very pleased with the players today. They stood up to the task, we knew it could be a potential banana skin for us. We made two changes for the game but we were very professional and very clinical. I asked the players for three things which were work-rate, attitude, and application because we have the quality to go and play like we did today. There was some great football played and on the counter attack we looked frightening. There was some great link-up play between Romaine Sawyers and Lasse Vibe today. It was a great run from Lasse for the penalty, he made a great run for his goal, and he made a great run for Romaine's goal. There were also some great balls through from Josh McEachran which we know that he is capable of.”
With the game safe in the second-half, Dean was able to shuffle his pack and give Chris Mepham a senior debut while also welcoming Jota back after his loan spell with Eibar. The Bees Head Coach was pleased to be able to give both players a run-out and feels there is a lot of younger talent coming through and pushing towards first-team contention.
“I am really pleased for Chris Mepham,” said Dean. “The idea was to get him on for some minutes, Jota on for some minutes, and Alan McCormack on for some minutes. Unfortunately, Maxime Colin was just feeling his thigh slightly so we didn’t want to risk him with some big games coming up. It was great for Chris Mepham. We have got a lot of players in the B Team who are pressing and are close to pushing people in the first-team. It was nice to be able to reward Chris with that debut today. It is important to get some minutes out of Jota and the first-half performance enabled me to do that. He showed flashes of what he can do. He has unbelievable ability. I spoke to him just before he went on and said that I think the fans like you here. He said, ‘Yes, I think so.’”
This afternoon’s victory secured passage to Round Four of the FA Cup for the first-time since 2012. With a number of lower league sides still involved in the competition, Dean feels that, with a bit of luck, there’s a good chance to have a good run in this season’s competition.
“I said to the players before the game that you don’t get many chances to be successful in your career,” said Dean. “This is one where we have had a favourable draw at home today and if we can get another favourable draw then all of a sudden we are not too far away from where we want to be.”