One positive thing to come out of Brentford’s 2-1 west London derby defeat at QPR was a full debut for January signing Winston Reid.
The New Zealand international central defender is on loan from West Ham for the rest of the season and had made two brief substitute appearances before replacing Ethan Pinnock at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.
Reid looked calm and composed on the ball and was constantly trying to organise the Bees defence – especially at set pieces – although he could not prevent either of QPR’s goals.
Brentford boss Thomas Frank said: “Winston showed why we got him in on loan. He showed his experience and I was pleased with his performance.
“We need all our players, to keep freshness in the team. Ethan has been one of our most solid players this season, and has done very well, but has also played the most minutes so far.
“We are playing every third or fourth day, so we were speaking about it for a few days now that he needed a rest.”
Meanwhile, midfielders Christian Norgaard and Emiliano Marcondes are inching ever closer to a return to full fitness, following respective injury lay-offs.
Norgaard, such a key figure for the Bees last season, has been out since getting injured against Preston at the start of October – bar a very brief substitute appearance against Newcastle in the Carabao Cup – while Marcondes has been sidelined since early January.
“They are very close, and it’s still touch and go with them,” said Frank.
“They won’t be ready to face Coventry on Saturday but looking into next week (against Sheffield Wednesday and Stoke), potentially there may be some progress.”
Once the duo return, the only other major player currently still sidelined is captain Pontus Jansson, who had ankle surgery last month, and who hopes to return to the side for the run-in.