Feedback from the Fans forum 14/11/2013


Brentford FC
Brentford FC

The top panel consisted of :

Alan Kernaghan, (AK) Mark Warburton (MW), Uwe Rosler, (UW) Peter Gilham (PG), Richard Lee (RL), Chris Haslam (CH), Neil Grieg (NG), Kevin O’Connor (KO)

Q: How do you compare this years league to last years?


MW: This year it is harder, Wolves, Peterborough, Bristol City, theres no easy games in this league.  Port Vale away was a good result.  There are no gimmies it may perceived as higher than last year and it is not easy to get out of.


AK- Bristol City bottom of the league but still a difficult game, we can’t go into a game of 90 – 95% performance and expect to win.  That goes throughout the league from bottom to top and the players can’t afford to think they have an easy game.  That’s why we have a big squad and am able to rotate.


RL the majority of games are decided by an odd goal, we are very aware there isn’t an easy game we need to get to certain points total.


Q: What is the difference between Uwe’s and Mark Warbutons role.


MW: Uwe is in charge of training and formations and has the final say of all players coming into the club, we talk about who is appropriate, but Uwe has the final say.  Mathew Benham is involved as well.  MW will be involved with agents and contracts and will go out and scout players in neccesary.


Expand on other members : Neil Grieg, Role is to oversee all medical provision from first team to nine years old, including 130 academy players plus 30 first team players.  Role is to coordinate, so and has physios, doctors, etc all to look after.  It’s an all encompassing role, main area of responsibility is to allow good people who we have recruited to do their job.  Chris Haslam, is in charge of a team of 3 people, covers all age groups but main focus is the first team.


Q:  Could you (Kevin)  clear up the penalty from last season.


KOC: When it was given I had every intention to take it, Marcello wanted to take it they had a heated debate and I didn’t want to cause a argument on the pitch.


Q:  Are you (Kevin) fit enough to play?


KOC: I’ve had a couple of slight niggles in the last few weeks but am getting their but not quite.


Q:  We were having a sticky patch when this forum was first called, what has changed since Steveange.


AK: We played well in Stevenage for the first part of the game, we made individual errors which changed the balance of the game.  We made slight changes to the formation, Kadeem Harris has come in which had a good impact.


MW: We saw some players return, Jake Bidwell returned from injury, Kadeem came in.  Before that we moved Tony Craig to left back and Martin Taylor was a right footed playing on the left which left us unbalanced.


Q: Has it coincided with a Mcormack at RB.


AK: The results speak for themselves there is nothing much we can say to that, Shay has proved to be one of the best one vs one defenders in the league and Alan has brought that little bit more so he has stayed in the team.


Q: Thank you for to the players who have joined the commentary to the blind scheme/bees player.


Q: We have a decent amount of loan players in, what is that makes Brentford attractive


MW:  We have highlighted the quality of our support network, they have all worked at Premier League level, our support network could go and work in the Premier League.  We have good facilities and good work being done to improve them.  Clubs like Everton and Cardiff etc have got to be sure they are well looked after, a DVD and report is sent after each game.


AK – The style of football that we play is nicer on the eye, a lot of passing and moving which you generally see in the Premier League.  They get a good insight into what it takes to play Saturday/ Tuesday regularly.


Q: from a players persepctive is there any issue with a player coming in.  RL : no that’s football, we are aware the way we play is quite attractive.  From an individual point of view, if the team do well we do well.


Q:  The new academy and the dome at Uxbridge.  When will it be ready?


MW: We hoped to move a couple of days ago, the academy is a magnificent facility and it is a partnership with the school.  A great move for the club, we hope to have the edge over other London clubs.


Q: Everything then relies on Lionel Road.  6 out of 8 haven’t written in yet, is there anything the club can do to encourage.


PG: Everyone on the top table has written in, Uwe and Mark Warburton have been involved.


Brian Burgess: – A big thank you to everyone who has, we have had well over a 1000,1500 letters of support, and 3000 postcards, thank you to BIAS.  Anyone who hasn’t contacted the council please pick-up the leaflet, it is now “squeaky bum time” the planning committee will meet on 5th December.  The planning officers are starting to write their report but haven’t come a conclusion yet.  We do not know if they will approve, there are well over 1,000 objection letters to the council, cannot emphasise how important this is.  Let’s keep this up.


Q:  We have all seen the difference Kadeem has made, we also saw the impact that Martin Fillo and Stuart Dallas made on the right.  Is it a little skewed to the right.


UR: Over 100 people here thank you, everybody want continuity, idea was to build on from last year, we replaced Harry Forrester, we got Macaleny in and went more offensive.  He was very promising and was a big loss.  We had struggled to find replacement.  We have technical players who are good in certain areas such as Fillo and Dallas.


Q: Would we like to keep Kadeem past January,


UR: Yes, he is young he is enjoying himself, he wants to make the difference and is ambitious.  I think when Cardiff ask, he will say he wants to stay, we are in a good position to secure Kadeem.


Q: Does the same apply to Saville?


UR: Yes.


Q: Do you look at these players as full time players?


UR:  We got criticised by talk sport for not having an identity. For two and a half years we have been trying to get players that fulfill our criteria and trying to secure them properly.  This is our way of trying to get players of good quality for cheap.  They are relatively unknown and unproven players we give them a chance to play.


MW:  The danger of a loan player is that they could do very well at Brentford and then want to go to a championship club, but they may sit on a bench and not play.  That is a danger but we hope we can negate that,


UR: this is why we invested in the support staff, to give them a familiar environment.


NG: we give a weekly report on the days they’ve trained, it could be “george has had a cold and had to give him these drugs” or it could be more about an injury.  Although this is not specific to loan players, we would do this for RL and KOC as well, all players.


CH will cover more from the conditioning side, how many sessions per week, heart rate, GPS data (how far they have run etc..  Because we can provide that clubs can know their players are being looked after.


KOC : The staff work very hard, NG does some strengthening exercises with me, Chris will take swim, upper body, cardio etc..


RL: I owe my career to NG and now feels stronger and fitter than ever, he was quite outspoken when he came here, the amount of change in that time is amazing, the training ground is fantastic.  Diet, meals, Pilates every week etc..



Q: About Farid, Norris came on before him at Stevenage, where does he fit it.


UR:  He signed one and a half years ago, unfortunately he got that injury.  Since then the team has made massive step forward, both the way the players have developed as individuals and as a team.  We play much more passing and movement, Farid needs to fed with long balls and get flick ons, he is a good impact player, an old fashioned English centre forward.  For him to start games, because on the way we play is not likely at the moment.


Q: Can you update on Paul Hayes as well?


He was on the loan at the end of last season got some first team football, when the season started we looked to play with two up front.  Grigg and Donaldson were in front and at his age he had problems with that.  Every player we have whether they are loan or permanent wants play and in my opinion others are in front of Paul.


Norris can run channels better that’s why he came on at Stevenage, he made a good impression at Northampton.  Up front we had five players, his development is at the right time to go out on loan, and we have extended the loan until Christmas.


Q: Regaring players we send out on loan, what sort of information do we get back?


MW: We have a good relationship with Aidy Boothroyd, he will call up the next day and report on how the players got on.  Even non-league clubs who do not have the advanced facilities we will still get a report.


Q:  What happened with the situation not getting Tom Adeyemi permanently?


UR: Mark and I tried very hard, he was one of the few loanees who was already out of loan before.  Usually we get first loans and got him on good terms, spoke to Chris Hughton, there was no compensation due but Tom wanted to play in the Championship, it wasn’t about the money.


MW: Overseas players still see our league as Division 3, they don’t see it as good for their CV as dropping down two leagues.


Q:  All the good football we play , we are not converting our chances into goals, eg Stevenage, Shrewsbury.


UR: I totally agree, even when we had rocky, spell in terms of attempts, attacking positions and creating attempts.  There is not many better in the league than us in creating attacks, we need five chances to score a goal, usually it is three.   As long as we are creating chances we will be OK, but when we stop creating there will be a problem, we know about the problem and are working it.


Q:  When the balls come in to the middle, it takes too long for our support system to come up.


UR: we play 4-1-2-3, you need those players to attack and make late runs into the box, George and Adam make those runs and I am very happy with their progress, they are attack minded and running into the box.  This is why I am so thrilled and optimistic, with Leyton Orient Lisbie is their best player and is 35 and  is not going to get better, our players will get better and will score more goals.


Q:  Out of the midfield players which one will be the Bryan Robson or Aaaron Ramsey, is there one that will get us 12 goals.


UR: I had a conversation with Adam today and getting forward and getting on the score sheet, we had chats with Tom Adeyemi last year about getting in the box, George and Adam will get goals, not 15, probably 7 or 8.


Q:  Grigg must be frustrated not playing.


UR: You will always have players who go through dry spells. Will has never moved club or town before, he was called up for international duty and never played and missed training for us.  We have to take the pressure off, we played him in the beginning, but sometimes it’s better to take the pressure off him.  With Trotta we won five out 5 but that is football, Will is not here for the short term he is on a 3 year contract.


Q: In the last 15 years we have really lacked a hard leader, until we signed AM.  I know we’ve won five, do you think we are wasting him at Right back.  We have a bench were four or five could be in our first team.


UR: What do you think I think by doing that? (crowd respond better defensively, more stable).  He is a better passer, Shay had started very well, first 5 games played out of his skin, we were looking into a new contract.  For some reason his performance dropped and he made mistakes.  In general there must be accountability for performances and there must be a opening for other players if they do well in training.  I want to pass more from the back, which is why I put Alan in.  Everyone asked for continuity in the way we play, I don’t think we waste Alan’s leadership by playing at right back.  You can lead in the back four.


Q:  What is the thinking by leaving everyone back for a corner.


UR: I get asked this everytime! In the first season we man marked at times we left 2 or 3 up, we never scored or looked like scoring.  Last season we changed it and had success, over the whole season we have been successful in marking space.  First priority is we have to defend the corner, not many teams score from set pieces against us and that will not change.


Q: To MW, how much input does Mathew Benham have to transfers?

MW: He has a great database, he is very knowledgeable and it is important to have a good relationship and his database can also tap into off the field information as well.


Q: Do you have a different game plan for each game we play.


UR: We try to build on last season, we started the season the same way, we had to change when we lost Macaleny.  We had to change and had problems replacing players.  In general we play 4-3-3, with 3 inside midfielders and 3 attackers, it doesn’t matter if we play Staines or Crewe or Wolves that system is the same.


Q: Do the outside world get what Brentford is about.


RL : Jealousy is part of life, yes Mathew Benham he has put money but he hasn’t splashed out loads carelessly.  He has got the right staff in and the structure, it is not a quick fix, people are going moan, whether it’s loans etc.  We are aware and there are clubs who look at and can learn.  There are going to be a ton of players coming through the academy in a couple of years.


UR: When I came here with Mark Warburton, we worked on the same budget as the previous manager.  The perception from a previous manager (Andy Scott?) was the budget was increased.

This year we increased the budget, this summer after Wembley Mathew Benham came into the dressing room and said “we will go for it”.  With Benham’s help we were able to secure our assets and get money in return (eg Simon Moore), yes we increased our budget, have more resources and a bigger squad but we are nowhere near Wolves or Bristol City.


Q: Did the raising of expectation over the summer cause over expectations from the supporter, has there been a reassessment.


AK: – I complained about the fans reaction after the Shrewsbury game, the perception was we could turn up and stream roller them, that was disrespectful, we hoped that would happen but we have to be realistic.  How we played in pre-season maybe got everyone’s expectation higher, everyone has grounded themselves a bit more.  The team has helped as we have had five results in a row.


Q: Did it affect the players?


AK: There were some times in the game which didn’t go well and the fans were making some unrealistic “chants” to the management.  It annoyed me and had to comment on it.


MW: Forshaw was sick that’s why he was substituted (against Colchester), even MW didn’t know.  He was struggling.  The supporters need to trust the management.


Q: Did the club act like a big time Charlie? With regard to the team that travelled to Derby, it was disrespectful to the fans who travelled?


UR: A clear target from the board and MB that the league is the absolute priority, I can understand that the travelling supporters could be upset, for that I apologise but I have a clear target.  The 2nd priority is the FA Cup.  The reason I fielded a slightly weaker team was that I wanted to have a fresh team for the Saturday.  We gave the younger players a chance to play in a big stadium, I have no problem with the criticism.  I have a goal to deliver and do it to the best of my ability.


Q: When do we do envisage that our own players will be knocking on the door.  Our academy will come in the next two or three years, the bar has been raised.


UR: There are players who will come through – Jake Reeves.  Josh Clarke is promising and has pace but needs to work on parts of his game.  Cannot throw him in too early. The competition is too strong at the moment,


MW:  The team that won the Milk Cup two years ago squad beat AZ Alkmaar, who are a full academy team, they are now at U-17 level and will be knocking on the first team in a few years


Q:  Were there any serious reservations about brining Trotta back?


UR: We worked over the Summer and wanted to bring in another striker, we were close and nearly brought in a foreign player.  What we are looking for in our skill level is difficult with our wage bracket.  I always knew we could go back to Trotta.  I knew he could handle it after the performance against Swindon.  I felt everybody (maybe naïvely), that everyone will give him a chance and not judge his loan spell last season on a missed penalty.  We won 7 out of 10 last year, yes he has his off  days but I  underestimated some of our supporters would have reservations.  I have no reservations, he will get better and better.  I hope everyone gives him a chance.


Q: You mentioned the FA Cup is quite higher on the priority.  What is the strength of the team for the next round?


UR: Against Staines we didn’t have that many mid week games, the team was looking for continuity.  They looked fresh, that is why I didn’t make any changes.


Q:  Where do you see an in form Will Grigg playing, as a central Striker?

A:  Yes


Q: You mentioned trust and loyalty, is it true you went for the Wolves job?


UR: It is no secret that when a team does players are noticed, managers are noticed.  The club was approached and MB was informed.


MW: Why would you not go to an interview?  I would encourage people to go and better themselves.  It is human nature,  if we go up Mark Devlin will get calls about Uwe, the better the club does the more interested people will be.


UR: If I wanted the Wolves job I wouldn’t be here tonight.


Q: What is the situation with Clayton’s Contract?


MW: We are not going to talk with Jake, Adam, Harlee and not talk  Clayton is enjoying his football, we will talk again in December, we have met his agent several times.  His contract is up in the summer.


Q: When we get players on loan, is it a case that clubs circulate a list or do clubs approach other clubs. Also the financial structure, how much salary do we pay etc ?


MW: On a youth loan after 28 days the club can call them back.  The variance in wage could be huge, we took players like Schlupp, Reid, Byrne, some were on less than 300 per week.  There are circulars go round on many players, sometimes if a player is circulated too many times you do not want him.  All staff members have special relationships with other clubs and we can call people up and ask what we are looking for.  We couldn’t find the replacement for the Connor, we played Cardiff in a devleopment squad saw Kadeem and found our player straight away.


Q: What happened with Teixera?


MW: That was my fault, we had Forshaw and Saville playing there, they maintained their fitness and place and why would the manager change that?


Q: Connor started training now, will we bring him back?


MW: we have a good relationship with Everton because of Jake and Adam and hope to see him back.  I spoke to him last week


Q: Why are we rubbish in the play-offs?


KOC:  It’s just down to luck, it’s one of those things.


Q: We have more points at this point, than this time last year.  What will we be liked when we reach top gear?


UR: Yes agree, our pressing will get better and better.  Douglas has the willingness and determination to carry the team forward.  We have a lot of hard work to do, it is an ongoing process.   As long as we maintain our hunger and desire than there is more to come.


Q: What is the feeling about the two central defenders, have you got people who can cover?


UR: Yes KOC did a very good job last year, he is one of the centre halves.  Martin Taylor was slightly injured and we couldn’t guarantee he could play every game, with his experience and wages we couldn’t give him that.


Q: Is it a stronger a league this year, will it be harder to catch the top two?


UR: Yes agree it is stronger.  I believe Leyton Orient will stay up there longer than Tranmere did last year.  We need to not get anxious or nervous and trust the management and players that we have have. In the end we will be there to fight for promotion.


Q: We have cover in  most positions and have a big squad, how difficult is it to keep players motivated, is it difficult.

UR: Yes. They are all professionals, all train very well and it they all want to play.  In the night sometimes I do not sleep and I do not know how I can bring that over to the player.


Q: Do you think your communication has improved over time as a manger.


UR:  I always work on communication, you have to face the music and be honest.  The players won’t always agree and I accept the players will not always agree.


RL:  As long people are honest and tell you why you are not selected, there was another manger who wasn’t honest.  I know what I need to do to challenge and hopefully I’m getting closer, we are all adults and there are 25/26 people who want to play.  I’ll keep working on the training ground and hopefully will get nearer.


KOC: It’s frustrating, particularly if results aren’t going your way.  As long as people are honest, UR is one of the best I’ve had.


Q: Are players allowed to express their views, have you changed your mind after what players have said?


UR: Yes, we had a chat after the Stevenage.  After that meeting I took one or two things on board, the players said they wanted continuity.  However there has to be a healthy balance at times it is vital to listen to the players.  Players look for continuity, that was one point.  I am big fan of rotation, then you have a strong squad, the feedback I got was that players look for continuity.