Smith hails defenders after Brentford victory

Brentford boss Dean Smith praised his reshuffled defence after the 3-1 victory over Leeds United at Griffin Park.

Smith started with central defender Yoann Barbet as a makeshift left-back and also had to send on youngster Chris Mepham for the second half in place of the injured Andreas Bjelland.

Barbet set up the opening goal for Neal Maupay, as well as firing home a free-kick to restore the Bees’ advantage before Ryan Woods grabbed a late third.

“It was the right thing to stick with Yoann,” said Smith. “He’s not a left-back but his use of the ball is very good. I thought he put in an accomplished display.

“Andreas had a nasty gash in his head and I had no doubts about putting Chris on. He’s a good young player coming through and he didn’t do an awful lot wrong.

“It was his first one in front of the TV cameras and good experience for him. Chris and John Egan, and Andreas before that, defended really well.”

Smith was satisfied with his side’s overall performance – and particularly their work ethic.

“There have been a number of games where we’ve had to show that physical side, against Millwall and Birmingham certainly,” he said.

“We had a day less rest than Leeds, but they came at us and made it difficult. We had to weather a bit of a storm and we pressed them a lot higher.”