Pressure Mounts After Forest Loss
Brentford's failure to score in an away league match for the third successive time added to the pressure on manager Leroy Rosenior and his beleaguered squad as they lost 2-0 to League One leaders Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Saturday, writes Simon Webster.
After going 11 league games without a win, Rosenior is now battling against relegation - and to keep his job.
He felt that his team's lack of confidence and the inexperience of teenage keeper Clark Masters and striker Charlie Ide were big factors in Saturday's defeat.
Rosenior lamented: 'Charlie got caught on the ball and that led to the first free-kick. Then Clark got his wall in the wrong place. But they're young and have come from youth team football.
'What we're lacking is five per cent from everybody. The lads are working hard but they're not quite working hard enough to get on the end of things in one box and to stop teams in the other box. So we need to drive on, work on things and get their confidence back. It's not going to come by me screaming and shouting and having a go at Masters. It comes from sitting down and explaining to him things he should have done right.
'To be honest we had a game plan and it went quite well, apart from the two set pieces from which Forest scored. Clark, who is only 19 years old, wasn't in the right position. The ball went down his side twice for both goals. It's inexperience because he was worried about the kicks going over the wall in the other corner.'
Senior goalkeeper Stuart Nelson is expected to have recovered from an ankle injury to replace Masters for this Saturday's vital home FA Cup tie against Doncaster Rovers, but Rosenior may persist with Ide.
After his promising first full senior outing on the same ground in the previous Tuesday's Johnstone's Paint Trophy defeat, Ide kept his place in the starting line up alongside Jo Kuffour. But little was seen of the Brentford attack.
Forest took the lead within 10 minutes after Oli Skulason conceded a free-kick 30 yards from goal. Kris Commons struck a low shot to the left of both the wall and the outstretched hand of Masters into the bottom corner of the net.
Brentford had a penalty appeal turned down when a Sam Tillen shot appeared to be blocked by the hand of Nicky Southall and fell further behind on 37 minutes. Commons blasted in a second free-kick from an identical position to his first.
Despite the introduction of Clyde Wijnhard for Tillen at half-time and a switch to a 4-3-3 formation, Brentford continued to offer little in attack and never seriously threatened the goal of former Bee Paul Smith.
As the pressure begins to mount on Rosenior, he believes his players are not far away from turning the corner. He said: 'We've got a massive game this Saturday at home to Doncaster and it's important we keep our spirits up. We need to get a result because it's important to the club, the supporters and the players.'