Smith lauds ‘terrific’ Jota; Warne satisfied with show

Date published: Saturday 25th February 2017 6:55

Jota: Lashes home for Brentford

Relieved Brentford boss Dean Smith accused his players of sloppiness after they left it to the dying minutes to see off Sky Bet Championship basement boys Rotherham 4-2.

Despite dominating almost totally for the first 45 minutes, the Bees head coach was disappointed his side had failed to turn their superiority into goals.

In the end it took two Jota goals in the last four minutes of stoppage time to seal the points and ensure the gutsy Millers’ dismal away run continued.

The Spaniard’s hat-trick, along with a Nico Yennaris strike, gave the Bees the points, overshadowing goals from Aymen Belaid and Anthony Forde that looked like earning the Millers a rare road point.

“Jota has saved it for us late on,” said Smith. “He is a terrific player and I have not worked with a player with such good balance.

“When he runs with the ball he is a joy to watch and he has a wand of a left foot, but since he came back his work ethic has been wonderful.

“We have an option on extending his contract at the end of the season but there is no hurry on that because the contract option is in the club’s favour.

“When he came back I talked to him about whether it was something he wanted (after sorting out his personal issues in Spain) and he wanted to and I’m sure all Brentford fans are glad he did.”

But Smith wants his Bees to maintain the high tempo that saw them eventually break down a resilient United defence.

He said: “When we move the ball quickly we look at our most effective and always look like scoring, but I wish we didn’t have these five-minute spells where they have chances.

“We were in total control in the first half but after the break they got a little lift and we got a bit sloppy and gave too many cheap free-kicks away, which I was disappointed with because we’d spoken about their threat from set-pieces.”

He added: “I’m delighted to have so many choices in attacking positions but clearly we are a centre forward short because that’s not a natural position for Romaine Sawyers, although he will fill in anywhere.”

Rotherham caretaker boss Paul Warne was delighted with his side’s performance, saying: “I was very proud of my team because last week we were abysmal.

“I watched Brentford in midweek and they played Sheffield Wednesday off the park so I was fearful, but I’ve been trying to be positive with them all week.

“In the second half we were the better side and were more of goal threat. I always felt we would score from set-pieces.”

But he was disappointed to see it slide late on, adding: “When we got to 2-2 that didn’t flatter us at all, so to concede in the 92nd minute was very disappointing.

“I thought it was a penalty but it was unlucky – we must have run over a cat with the team bus.

“I was pleased with how we played and the character we showed because as group they are used to losing, but today they showed they were proud to wear the Rotherham shirt and give it their all.”

And he insisted his Millers will not give up the fight for Championship survival.

He said: “Until it’s mathematically impossible we will keep fighting. It’s a difficult league for us and the first few months were tough so perhaps it’s been difficult to shake off the mental scarring.

“But after today I’m not at all embarrassed with way my team played because they played to their max and scored two goals and that is something positive to build on.”

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