Just watch my Bees grow in stature - Smith

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Dan Gil­lott

DEAN Smith may have quashed talk of pro­mo­tion as a tar­get for next sea­son – but he could not hide his ex­cite­ment over the emerg­ing talent at a buoy­ant Brent­ford.

The Bees stopped Derby, re­vi­talised un­der Gary Rowett, dead in their tracks as Lasse Vibe and the won­der­ful Jota scored dou­bles in a game that only ever looked like fin­ish­ing one way.

Smith plucked two other im­pres­sive per­form­ers, Ro­maine Sawyers and Rico Henry, from League One and his old club Wal­sall over the sum­mer.

And the Bees boss ad­mits many of his play­ers are just start­ing to scratch the sur­face of their po­ten­tial as they ad­just to life in the sec­ond tier.

“It’s a very tough league to get out of. You only have to look at some of the teams who won’t go up this sea­son, there will be some big ones,” said Smith, whose side are on tar­get for a top-ten fin­ish af­ter their fourth win in five out­ings.

“We’re a young group and we’re emerg­ing. We’ve got the likes of Daniel Bent­ley, Ro­maine Sawyers and Rico Henry – those three guys haven’t played in the Cham­pi­onship be­fore.

“The squad has got bet­ter – we’ve got some depth there. I can look over my shoul­der in the dugout and know I can af­fect the game.”

David Nu­gent had gone close for Derby with a one-on-one chance, but Vibe col­lected Jota’s shot be­fore steer­ing home to give dom­i­nant Brent­ford a de­served lead on the half-hour.

Only some fine goal­keep­ing by Scott Car­son stopped the score­line from be­ing even more one-sided but Jota helped open the flood­gates 20 min­utes from time.

His low strike was fol­lowed by Vibe’s sec­ond, a shot from out­side the area, and Jota had the last word in the fi­nal minute af­ter beat­ing Richard Keogh and smash­ing home.

But Rowett was keen to keep things in per­spec­tive af­ter watch­ing the Rams’ three-game win­ning streak come to an abrupt end.

“Af­ter three wins and a draw it’s easy to brush over one or two things,” he said. “This loss makes it eas­ier to look at things go­ing for­ward.

“We got a lit­tle more qual­ity on the ball for 20 min­utes af­ter the break and got in some de­cent po­si­tions with­out ever re­ally cre­at­ing much.

“We got done on the counter and then we gave up the ghost a lit­tle bit. We stopped work­ing and that was the bit I didn’t like.”

ALL OVER: Brent­ford’s Jota cel­e­brates scor­ing the fourth

STAR MAN JOTA Brent­ford

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