Beesotted columnist believes that Brentford need to heed five main points to ensure victory at Bramall Lane
After dropping points at Rotherham and Oldham, Brentford are in need of a response at Sheffield United on Tuesday night.
Here are five things we need to get us the three points we want.
1. A good start. This has been a bit of a problem for us lately. We were lucky to go into the break level against Oldham, and by half-time against Rotherham the game was virtually over.
Add to this the 0-0 first 45s against Bradford and Tranmere and the excellent start Orient made against us, and it looks like a serious weakness.
And make no mistake; Nigel Clough is a good enough manager to have spotted that. We need to take the game to Sheffield United from the start.
2. Don’t let them bully us. They’re a team full of gigantic, bruising Northerners and the excellent vocal support given by their fans will spur them on to try and break us southern softies down.
We need to show our mettle, and looking back on the performances at Preston and Peterborough (and of course in this fixture last year), I’m confident we’ll be up for the challenge. Our experienced players will be key to this, none more so than Alan McCormack.
3. Proper width. This was a particular problem against Oldham, where the Bees didn’t seem to be playing with any permanent wide-men.
In recent months Judge has played on the left, with Donaldson on the right. However at Boundary Park, Judge was playing very centrally, while Donaldson seemed to be swapping between centre-forward and left-wing, where he was ineffective having to cut in onto his best foot.
Our narrowness made us very easy to play against in the first half, and it was only after half-time, when width was restored to the team, that we ever looked like scoring. Our only clear-cut chance (and one that is still haunting me) came from a Donaldson cross from the right to Stuart Dallas, Judge’s replacement. Dallas is not a great player, but he is at least a genuine winger who stays wide and I wouldn’t mind seeing a bit more of him before the end of the season.
4. Lots of shots. Our narrowness at Oldham crowded out the centre of the park and prevented us from taking many shots from outside the box on Saturday. In stark contrast to last year, we’ve scored a lot from range this year, and in past weeks they have become our main source of goals.
Think back to the Crewe game, where all three of our goals were fantastic efforts from half-chances, between which we missed sitter after sitter. I have fellow Beesotted.com columnist Dan Suh to thank for knowing that Leyton Orient players have contributed about twice as many assists as our squad.
This shows that a high proportion of our goals have come through split-second moments of individual brilliance, which we have in abundance. So yep, lots of shots please, lads.
5. Noise from the away end. Sheffield United away last year was unbelievable. It was the most exciting game I’ve ever seen and, even if Trotta had scored the penalty against Doncaster, I’m not sure it would have matched the thrill of Bradley Wright-Phillips’s 89th minute equaliser that night. We only had nine men!
Part of what made that night so special was the atmosphere created by the 1200 Bees fans in the Jessica Ennis lower. We need to recreate that noise tomorrow night. I am a huge believer that loud support is key in driving the team on to big performances.
While the Orient fans sat in silence as their team fell to a catastrophic defeat, we roared our team on to victory, and you could see the players feeding off the passion from the crowd. So get behind the boys (maybe even stand up…) and consider the evening wasted if you don’t go into work tomorrow with a sore throat.
Come on you Bees!