Brentford boss felt targeting Fulham’s full-backs was key

Brentford boss Dean Smith said he focused his tactics on targeting Fulham’s attack-minded full-backs in the 3-1 derby victory at Griffin Park.

Sergi Canos and Ollie Watkins were told to press high on Ryan Sessegnon and Ryan Fredericks respectively and exploit any gaps left in behind.

The plan worked as both were highly influential, scoring during an impressive second half.

“We felt that their full-backs would vacate some space in behind them, and the likes of Ollie and Sergi could use that,” Smith said.

“For the second half, I gave them a bit more belief about what we were doing – go and press them high, they’ll make mistakes.

“I thought we certainly did that. We came out and controlled the second half.”

Smith revealed a hamstring injury was behind Lasse Vibe’s early substitution, which left the Bees light on strikers with Neal Maupay suspended and Justin Shaibu also carrying a knock.

But Romaine Sawyers slotted in as an auxiliary striker and Smith praised his efforts.

“Romaine’s played there before. He did really well for us today,” Smith said.