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Reaction: Blues 1 Brentford 1

The Gazza and Ivan partnership is superb at the minute, and remember that most of the teams in the Championship play with three midfielders, but we don’t see that creating problems for us because of the organisation of the team and the effort of those two.

Pep Clotet

Blues Head Coach Pep Clotet talks to the press after this afternoon's 1-1 draw with Brentford.

Pep Clotet on his side extending their unbeaten run to 10 games with today’s stalemate against the promotion-chasing Bees…

“We are doing this transition and progression into being stronger with the ball and more dominant. I think in the first 25, 30 minutes we were really dominant, with good combinations and good attacking football. We were very strong today; we didn’t have to defend any counterattack from Brentford. This means that the team is not only developing offensively, but also takes care of the important things that need to be done to avoid getting yourselves into any problems, like earlier in the season. I think today the team did a magnificent job defensively, based on using the strikers to stop the midfielders from getting on the ball, and avoiding the ball coming in between the lines to (Ollie) Watkins. We knew then they would take the game out wide and we needed to equal the number of wide 3v3s, and adding the extra centre-back, 3v4s, and I never felt stressed under those situations today, where they’re normally very strong. Defensively we did a superb job and offensively it suited us to focus a little bit more on the defensive side because the opposition required that. But I think in the first-half, when the game was open, we had a lot of good football and created a lot of chances to win.”

Pep Clotet on the late penalty appeal after the ball clearly struck the hand of Brentford’s Ethan Pinnock…

“For me it is very simple; he touches the ball with a hand, they win control of the ball thanks to that action. We’ve had penalties given against us this season for handball that weren’t even close to what that was. But at the end of the day, I respect the referee’s decision."

Pep Clotet on Scott Hogan, who went off in the second-half due to an ankle problem…

“At the moment, because the squad is very thin, we cannot afford to have any injuries, because that would put a little bit of risk on what we’re building and the good run that we’re having. We’re assessing Scott’s swollen ankle. He tries to shoot and he gets a clear contact on his ankle inside the box – I could hear the contact from the bench. There was clear contact, foot against foot, in the air and he’s halted his shot. If that’s not a penalty, if the handball isn’t a penalty…then what is? Scott is getting treatment with a lot of ice and compression. I hope, and think, he’ll be alright but we’ll need to assess it in a few days.”

Pep Clotet on the increased understanding between the players in a settled team…

"We have managed to create good partnerships, like Gazza (Gary Gardner) has with Ivan (Sunjic), like the centre-backs have with each other, like the full-backs have with the wingers and we have the two strikers together. The Gazza and Ivan partnership is superb at the minute, and remember that most of the teams in the Championship play with three midfielders, they are a two and most of the time are on an under-load. But we don’t see that creating problems for us because of the organisation of the team and the effort of those two. We control now where we want to win the ball back, and how we can start quick attacks, we highlighted situations where Gazza needs to drive the ball through, beat a line, and as soon as he beats a line then our counter-attack sparks. We encourage it."

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