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Posted on: Sun 03 Sep 2006

Please note that Bees World subscribers can see this Press Conference in full from midday on Monday.

Saturday's win over Bradford City at Griffin Park was certainly the proverbial 'game of two halves'.


Trailing at half-time, Bees manager Leroy Rosenior made two changes, replacing Darius Charles and John Mousinho with Alex Rhodes and Karleigh Osborne, and moving Kevin O'Connor into central midfield, in a move that saw Brentford gain the upper hand, and take the game to their opponents.


In the post-match press conference, Leroy gave his reasons for making those changes.

"We withdrew Darius and John, not because they were playing badly, but because we needed to make a couple of changes because they were being affected by little nudges here and there so they couldn't get to the ball. They tried their hearts out and they'll come again.

"What the team doesn't do is give up. I said to them at half time I don't care what the score is as long as we don't give up and show our spirit and determination.

"I didn't have a lot of options and needed someone in there. I needed someone to drive forward and get them on the back foot and Kevin did that. I also asked the full backs to drive forward because we needed to push their wide players back because they weren't working hard enough. They were getting the ball in advanced areas because our back four wasn't in tact all the time. When we got the ball out wide we looked better. I said to Paul Brooker 'go and play like a winger' and so when he got it in wide areas it meant out full backs could get forward and when we lost it, it meant we were in advanced areas to go and press the ball.

"Thomas Pinault was tremendous in the second half and Kevin was really strong in there. But I'm really pleased with all of them. They've all worked really hard.

Leroy also explained how he chose to motivate the team during the half-time break.

"In the first half I thought that was the best they [Bradford] could do but we could do a lot better. They played very well in the first half but I knew we could do a lot better. With our fitness and the young lads in there, we could get stronger and that's what happened. We did a lot better and got the result.

"I wasn't disappointed with them. There's a difference between disappointed and when people don't try. But they were being affected by Windass for example. Not too many strikers go 30 yards behind your defence then come in and win headers. We needed to play on the front foot today, needed to get in their faces and stop them playing but we were affected by that.

"Yes I did use the word cowardly. I thought they were a bit cowardly in possession in the first half, people turning their backs to the ball and they've got to grow up and start behaving like men - and they did that in the second half. Sometimes they need to learn and it's a good word to use. But they then showed they are not and they are a brave bunch who do their best.

Leroy reserved special praise for in-form striker Jo Kuffour, whose wonder strike (his fifth goal in four games) gave the Bees the three points.

Jo Kuffour

"To be honest I don't know too many people who could have done that. If it was England they would be showing that over and over again. The pace on the ball when it crossed the goal, for him to get up and kick it into the net was absolutely amazing.

"He's only 24 and he can be what he wants if he shows that belief. Jo used to show flashes, he'd have periods of two or three games where he'd do it. Now he's becoming more consistent. Jo's had three years in the lower leagues that's stood him in good stead.

Andy Frampton

Asked about the current injury situation, Leroy explained that Oli Skulason and Andy Frampton are improving, and that Lloyd Owusu is back in training following his recent operation.

"Oli had a slight reaction on Thursday, but might train towards the end of this week. Andy is coming on well. The swelling's gone down and he's walking around and we think he's about four weeks away, we hope. And Lloyd was back down the training ground this week doing a little bit of light training, which was good to see.

"But the young lads are doing absolutely fantastic - I can't ask for more. John Mousinho and Darius, they're having to learn the game very quickly. First team football is very difficult and it would be ideal if we had a reserve team, but we don't. We need to throw them in at the deep end and sometimes they're going to drown for a little while and we'll have to pull them out but that's to be expected and they'll be back. I'm really pleased with the squad.

"The transfer deadline came and went and I felt that if you got someone in they had to fit into the side. But I've got people who can come off the bench and do a job. And there wasn't anybody better than what we've got. Until there is I'll stick with these lads."

With thanks to Simon Webster

Please note that Bees World subscribers can see this Press Conference in full from midday on Monday.

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