Smith: Wigan ‘got in our faces and stopped us playing’

Dean Smith
Dean Smith

Brentford boss Dean Smith admitted his men were ‘out-battled’ by a Wigan Athletic side who ‘got in our faces and stopped us playing’.

The Bees were second best for the vast majority at the DW Stadium, and the 2-1 scoreline hugely flattered them.

“We never played anywhere near our capabilities,” acknowledged Smith.

“We are a good footballing team, but sometimes you have to come and battle. I felt we got out-battled today.

“The other side of the game is winning second balls and competing, and they did that better than us today.

“They did their job on us - they got in our faces, stopped us playing, and we didn’t pass the ball well enough to get the better of that.

“In the last 15 minutes we had to go longer, and hit Philipp Hofmann to try and win the second ball. We got our goal from doing that.

“Sometimes you have to go and mix it up because teams aren’t going to let you play and we need to learn that.”

Latics midfielder Sam Morsy was the difference between the two sides, scoring the opening goal on 28 minutes and then seeing his cross diverted into his own net by the unfortunate Harlee Dean four minutes later.

Substitute Jota pulled one back four minutes from time, but it was far too little, far too late.

“We controlled the game in the first 15 minutes but never got in behind them,” recognised Smith.

“They went man for man and tried to stop us playing in behind them.

“For me we should have been more patient and kept doing what we were doing.

“Instead we gave them the upper hand and started getting frustrated because we weren’t getting anywhere.

“When you do that then any team in this league can punish you. We gave two really sloppy goals away.

“We had the warning when Sam Morsy cut inside and hit the post.

“They got the other side of our midfield, we never got out to them quick enough and they scored the first goal.

“For the second goal we missed four tackles and they went and scored the goal.”