DEAN KEEN TO HOLD OUT ON HO­GAN BIDS

The Football League Paper - - FA CUP FOURTH ROUND - By Stephen Thirkill

BOSS Dean Smith says highly-rated Brent­ford striker Scott Ho­gan will only leave the club if their val­u­a­tion is met.

Hot-shot Ho­gan has been the sub­ject of in­tense in­ter­est from a num­ber of clubs, with West Ham favourites to cap­ture the player val­ued at £15m.

Ho­gan – who came on as a 64th-minute sub in the FA Cup de­feat at Chelsea – has bagged 14 goals in 25 Cham­pi­onship ap­pear­ances this sea­son.

But Smith con­firmed the Bees will not let their prized as­set go for a cut-price fee.

“As we said ear­lier in the week, we will let any of our play­ers move on from this club if the money is right for us,” he said.

“Ev­ery­one has a value at Brent­ford, but that does not mean we will sell play­ers for less than they are worth to us.

“Scott’s a great player and it’s no sur­prise that there is plenty of in­ter­est in him.

“We’ve had of­fers from dif­fer­ent clubs, but all of them have not met the val­u­a­tion.

“We work pri­vately on any trans­fer deal, but it is up to the clubs that are in­ter­ested to come up with a bid that matches our val­u­a­tion for Scott be­fore we talk about sell­ing him.

“(Chelsea) prob­a­bly didn’t de­serve that, the dif­fer­ence was re­ally just the qual­ity of the fin­ish­ing.”

The Cham­pi­onship side were no match for the Premier League lead­ers as Chelsea cruised into the fifth round with ease.

Wil­lian got the Blues on their way with a bril­liant curl­ing free­kick af­ter 14 min­utes, be­fore Pe­dro gave Chelsea a 2-0 lead at half-time, coolly fin­ish­ing a freeflow­ing move seven min­utes later as Chelsea’s slick pass­ing cut through the Bees.

Michy Bat­shuayi had a shot blocked on the line by Daniel Bent­ley, be­fore the busy Brent­ford shot-stop­per also de­nied both Cesc Fàbre­gas and Ruben Lof­tus-Cheek.

The im­pres­sive Lof­tus-Cheek then rat­tled the Brent­ford cross­bar on 58 min­utes af­ter a bril­liant counter at­tack.

But Nico Yennaris squan­dered a great chance to get Brent­ford back in to the game as As­mir Be­govic got the bet­ter of him in a one-on-one on 64 min­utes. And he was made to pay for his mis­take as sub­sti­tute Branislav Ivanovic made the game safe five min­utes later, af­ter latch­ing onto Pe­dro’s per­fect pass.

The im­pres­sive Bat­shuayi then com­pleted the scor­ing from the penalty spot nine min­utes from time af­ter Ivanovic was fouled.

Bees boss Smith added: “In the first half it was very tough. We started off ok on the ball and passed it quite well but then Wil­lian sticks one in the top cor­ner which made it dif­fi­cult from there.

“We tried to put some pres­sure on them but they broke away and scored to make it 2-0 af­ter 20 min­utes. It be­came a mon­u­men­tal task against a top team.

“If you want to be ag­gres­sive in the first 20 min­utes against a team like this, then you can have your face slapped very quickly be­cause they have qual­ity play­ers.”

It was a win that left Chelsea boss An­to­nio Conte de­lighted with the per­for­mance of his squad play­ers.

“I am happy with the play­ers who came in,” he said.

“It is pleas­ing to be able to make nine team changes and still get a good per­for­mance.

“The young play­ers did well for us; they have an im­por­tant part to play.

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

UN­DER-PRES­SURE: Brent­ford’s John Egan in ac­tion with Chelsea's Ruben Lof­tus-Cheek, while, in­set, Lasse Vibe has an ef­fort blocked

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