Jon De Souza said he thought Brentford’s Development Squad were comfortable winners against Cardiff City in their latest Under-21 Professional Development League match.
The Bees beat the Championship side 2-1 at the Jersey Road Training Ground on Monday afternoon with Leon Redwood and Luke Norris on the score sheet.
Development Squad Manager Jon, speaking to Bees Player after the match, said he thought Brentford had played well.
He added the two teams were evenly matched in terms of age and experience, which gave the win context.
“It was a good performance,” said Jon.
“We were comfortable.
“I thought we limited Cardiff to very few chances.
“We could probably have shown a little more creativity and threat to Cardiff’s goal but overall we deserved the win.
“In this league you are allowed over-age players so sometimes you can be a young team playing a First Team dominant one or a First Team dominant team playing a young one.
“You don’t always know where you are at.
“Today, we played a Championship Under-21 side that were pretty much the same age as us – we both had over-age goalkeepers – and I thought we were better than them.”
The first goal came when left back Leon Redwood burst forward and fed Antonio German before darting in to the box to meet the cross and finish.
Jon stressed the importance of the full backs getting forward with The Bees playing a diamond midfield and said he hoped goal scorer Leon would get forward more.
He added Emmanuel Oyeleke – known as Manny – was selected at right back as it was hoped he may develop in to a First Team player in that position.
“Leon provided something for us on that occasion but I wanted him to join in more,” said Jon.
“I don’t think he provided us enough width higher up the pitch.
“When you do, you can score goals.
“The full backs have to do that, otherwise we become a narrow team.
“The First Team staff feel Manny could push on in to the First Team as a potential right back so we are looking at him there.
“I thought he did OK.”
Brentford’s substitutes against Cardiff included Stuart Dallas, who is part of the First Team set-up, and Alfie Mawson, who played for the First Team in pre-season and is returning after injury.
Jon said it was important to have competition for places at all levels.
“Without many First Team players playing today, there was real competition,” he said.
“That is good.
“You should have to earn the right to play for the Development Squad like you have to earn the right to play in the First Team.
“We are trying to get it across the Club, from the Under-nine squad upwards, that if you do not train properly, you don’t play football.”
Brentford played Cardiff in a Development Squad friendly last season and were beaten 4-2.
“I think we are making strides,” said Jon.
“It’s nice to have a separate training group this year.
“Last year the Under-21 players would train with the First Team sometimes and the Youth Team sometimes.
“That is helping us and we are getting there, in terms of what we want from the Development Squad.”
The Bees have won two and lost two of their Under-21 Professional Development League Two South games this season – losing 3-0 to Millwall and 3-2 to Bristol City and beating Colchester United 6-0 before the Cardiff victory.
They play Queens Park Rangers on Saturday and Jon said it could be the biggest test of the season so far.
“I didn’t have any arguments against Millwall, we were well beaten, but we could have got something out of Bristol City and have been comfortable in the last two games,” said Jon.
“We go in to Saturday’s game against QPR now.
“They are a Premier League side and might have some First Team players playing, that will be a tough game.
“With the way our First Team squad operates, we have a small squad so whenever there is a Development Squad game on a Saturday, there aren’t many First Team players.
“QPR have nine or ten professionals or who won’t be in the First Team squad that could play for them if they wanted.
“It depends what team they pick, if they pick the older players, it will be a real test for our younger players.”
Click here to see a full video interview with Jon De Souza on Bees Player.