Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Brentford versus Boro; at Griffin Park Today (5.30Pm Kick-Off)

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Brentford versus Boro; at Griffin Park Today (5.30Pm Kick-Off)

Article excerpt

Friend Opposition view BRENTFORD are nowhere near as bad as recent results suggest and but for a couple of inches either way could still be in the mix.

The Bees were top of the table eight games in but have now won just one in 10, lost four of the last five and slipped into the bottom half.

But those stark statistics don't tell the full story says Tom Storer, who covers Brentford for Football.London.

Why have Brentford gone off the boil? "It is all about fine margins. And luck. It sounds like a lazy excuse but Brentford just haven't had the rub of the green.

"On paper they are on a bit of a slide.

Brentford were top of the table and playing well in the opening phase of the season.

"But they had a sticky spell and then manager Dean Smith left for Aston Villa and you have to have some sympathy for new boss Thomas Frank.

He hasn't had any luck with key players injured and a few key moments going against him.

"There have been one or two poor games but generally the team have played well, stuck to their enterprising style and stayed positive.

"That said, you can't argue with the results and one win in 10 doesn't look good."

How do the Bees play? "The club has a default style and that hasn't altered with the change of coach.

"One of the strengths in recent years has been continuity on and off the pitch.

"They play an attacking passing game with a wide 4-3-3. Maupay is the striker and he's the top scorer in the league.

"They have had a problem in recent weeks because the main attacking widemen Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma have been out and that has been one of the problems, not being at full strength in that attacking third.

"The main weakness has been at the back. The two regular centre-backs are 20 and 21 and there is a lack of nous and experience there and has proved costly at times.

"Last time out they were winning at QPR but leaked three times in the last 10 minutes when they wobbled at the back under pressure. …

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