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Brentford lost their third away match of the season as they went down 1-0 to a dogged Rotherham team. The Millers put on a defensive display which saw their players, quite literally flinging, their bodies in front of the ball at every opportunity to keep the Bees at bay.

Brentford made one change to the team that beat Forest and Ipswich – bringing Lasse Vibe back into the team, after his little Olympic adventure in Rio, in the place of Josh Clarke. With no Hofmann on the bench, one can only presume that Dean Smith has seen enough of the German striker to realise that he is not part of of his future plans?

And it was Rotherham who started brighter. Izzy Brown – just signed from Chelsea – capitalising on a mistake by Lasse Vibe which forced a stunning save from Dan Bentley.

Brentford played their neat passing game. But too many times they made unforced mistakes. Wayward passing was the order of the day as too many players gave away possession – passing straight to the opposition putting us on the back foot far two often.

Hogan, Vibe and McLeod all had good chances to put the Bees ahead before the break. But it was against the play that Rotherham took the lead – Ward hitting the Bees on the break with a move which had an air of offside about it.

The Bees were in control of the match. Nearly 70% of the possession tells a tale. Pretty football. But very pedestrian. Rotherham were very happy to sit back with a nine man wall and defend for their lives which led to that age old problem for the Bees – trying to break down a stubborn defence. It’s nothing new. Both Uwe Rosler’s and Mark Warburton’s teams also had problems at times breaking down stubborn defences desperate to protect a lead.

But in Saturday’s side there was no-one to in the side switch things up… To raise the tempo… To run at the defence and put them on the back-foot.

Lasse Vibe was still – to all intents and purposes – on the beach in Rio. Josh Clarke, who is still by no means the finished article, could have arguably caused more damage to Rotherham on the flanks, in the same way that young Izzy Brown – on his League debut – was a bit of a fly in the ear for the Bees defence at times.

In the second half, the Bees played some lovely football at times. Great passes out to the wings. Beating the defender. But the final delivery and execution were poor. Were they tired after playing three games in seven days – including weathering the storm against Forest on Tuesday night? I would like to think not.

Sawyers looked off the mark too – with his passing often going astray. There were calls from the terrace to replace him with Kerchbaumer but that didn’t happen. When Smith rang the changes, it was Ledesma coming on for Sawyers and Saunders come on for McLeod. However, it was McEachran coming on for Vibe that confused everybody – the Bees faithful less than convinced that McEachran is the type of player you need in your side when chasing the game.

Ledesma showed some good touches, causing a few problems with his set pieces. Ryan Woods had an excellent game as the engine in midfield and was at the centre of much of the action for the Bees. He was described by a Rotherham fans we interviewed after the game as the best player they had seen playing down at their ground in five years.

And there we have it. Despite throwing the proverbial kitchen sink at Rotherham, they defended admirably and fairly comfortably ran out 1-0 winners – much to the frustration of the travelling support. Click the link above to listen to the fans’ views from both teams following the match in the Beesotted Pride of West London Podcast and hear the opinions from those at the match… Most of which thought the Bees might have nicked it. Unfortunately, not this time.

Again, we ask the question. Is it time to ring the alarm bells? No, not really. The fact is the team plays good football and looked a confident Championship team throughout. But we are undoubtedly two, maybe three, short of being a really good side. But the question is will these players come?

We talked about the possible problems Brentford may have in picking up new players a few weeks ago. But where exactly is the club in delivering Dean Smith “his little present” he so naughtily teased us with a week or so ago?

Because, if we don’t strengthen the side within the next ten days or so, then we undoubtedly need to lower our expectations dramatically. At present, even without the additions, we are a solid mid-table Championship side who will lose as many matches they should have won, as win matches they should have lost.

But to take us to that next level, we need more than we’ve got in the tank at the moment. Otherwise we could find ourselves capable of beating the Brightons of the world… then falling to the Burton Albion sword.

Billy Grant