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THE INSIDE TRACK: BRENTFORD

1 December 2016

Our guide to the Bees

NORWICH City host Brentford on Saturday (3pm) in the Sky Bet Championship.

Here we take a look at what City come up against in this weekend's fixture at Carrow Road.

IN THE DUGOUT
Dean Smith recently celebrated a year at the helm of Brentford, having joined from Walsall in November 2015.

In leaving the Banks's Stadium for Griffin Park, Smith brought an end to his lengthy association with the Saddlers who he served as Head of Youth from 2009 before taking over as manager in January 2011.

Beginning his playing career at Walsall in the 1989-90 season, he represented them 166 times ahead of stints at Hereford from 1994 to 1997 and Leyton Orient between 1997 and 2003.

#OnThisDay in 2015 Dean Smith was appointed Head Coach! The Bees boss has won just under 40% of games during his first year in charge pic.twitter.com/rDqDif9TcX

β€” Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) November 30, 2016
He would later go back to Orient to work as Martin Ling's assistant from 2005 to 2009, before returning to his roots by taking a role within Walsall's Academy.

Impressing hugely once given the main job, Smith's dedication to progressive football captured the attention of other clubs and ultimately led to Brentford recruiting him following their dismissal of Marinus Dijkhuizen.

Achieving a win ratio of just under 40 per cent since his arrival, the 45-year-old's reputation in the game continues to grow.

IN THE PRESS
Brentford defender Yoann Barbet knows he faces competition for his place when Dean Smith's side visit Carrow Road this weekend, having been deployed at wing-back last time out.

The Bees' experimented with a 3-5-2 formation for their most recent game against Birmingham, with centre-back by trade Barbet featuring in a wider role several times this season due to injuries.

Typically rotating at left-back with Andreas Bjelland, a potential reversion to a flat back four could pose selection dilemmas which would directly affect the former France Under-18 international.


"It was a new formation for us and a new for me to play at left-wing," he told brentfordfc.co.uk following the game against the Blues.

"I tried to play simple and we did really well in the first-half. It was almost like playing on the wing sometimes because they want me to get forward but there are always three defenders to cover.

"If I play there again I will do my best. It’s new but I think we did well with it."

ONE TO WATCH
Having had his first 18 months at Brentford severely affected by injury, Scott Hogan is making up for lost time with the Bees.

Signing from Rochdale for a reported Β£750,000 two summers ago, Hogan suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury just 15 minutes into his league debut early on in the 2014-15 season.


Suffering a further setback in April 2015, Hogan's return to first team action was delayed until March of this year when he featured as a late substitute during a 1-0 defeat at home to Blackburn.

Steadily building his match sharpness, the frontman ended the campaign in fine form; netting braces in his final three appearances to take his tally for the term to a remarkable seven goals from just two starts.

Carrying on where he left off this time around, Hogan has netted 11 times in 18 league appearances so far this season and scored twice at Blackburn in Brentford's most recent away game.

IN THE SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Daniel Bentley, Jack Bonham.

Defenders: Maxime Colin, Callum Elder, Andreas Bjelland, Harlee Dean, John Egan, Yoann Barbet, Tom Field, Jan Holldack.

Midfielders: Lewis Macleod, Sam Saunders, Nico Yennaris, Josh McEachran, Alan McCormack, Ryan Woods, Konstantin Kerschbaumer, Alan Judge, Romaine Sawyers, Josh Clarke, Sulley KaiKai.

Forwards: Scott Hogan, Philipp Hofmann, Lasse Vibe.



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