Date: 14th March 2018 at 11:44pm
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Brentford head coach Dean Smith has admitted that Cardiff City simply out fought the side in the midweek defeat and the players need to be tougher than that.

Hosting Neil Warnock’s automatic promotion hunters at Griffin Park for the game on Tuesday evening, despite a bright start seeing Neal Maupay find the net after five minutes, Cardiff dug in and scored three times of their own to take all three points.

Speaking to the Official Site as he met with the media following the game, a disappointed Smith knew we hadn’t done the ugly side of the game well enough as set pieces proved to be our undoing.

‘They are a physical team and we didn`t deal with their physicality. If we had gone in 1-1 then I think we win the game. It was hard to take but the lads still believed they could turn it around.’

Whilst it couldn’t be blamed for the loss, Smith was disappointed with the third goal.

‘I have no idea why the free-kick for the third goal was given. The referee was inconsistent throughout the game but we still had to go and defend it. As soon as the third goal went in there were panic stations every time they got a free-kick. We have to dust ourselves down. It is a defeat but they have beaten a lot of teams this season.’

It was always going to be a tough game and Brentford needed to be at their best against a Cardiff who came into the tie with six wins on the spin as they make second spot their own this year, so Smith’s disappointment was compounded by how we failed to capitalise more on the start we had to the game.

‘It wasn`t quite the perfect start as we had a great move in the first minute that we probably should have scored from. Neal Maupay got the other side of them and Sergi Canos slips him in for a great finish. After that we were thinking that we could go on and comfortably win as we had started so well. The only danger was that the game became a little bit too open as we had our tails up and felt we could get another. However, we didn`t close the back door and let them get in a couple of times. It all came down to a couple of mistakes and two set pieces that we didn`t deal with.’

The defeat leaves the club eight points outside of the top six with nine Championship games remaining and with Middlesbrough next, Smith is looking for a quick reaction to keep Play Off hopes alive this year.

‘The gap is still the same. We would like to go into the international break with a victory. It is going to be a tough game because they are going well too. Every game is going to be a cup final for us. If we want to hang onto the coat-tails of those above us we have to make sure we win games, starting on Saturday.’

With Henrik Dalsgaard missing from the tie, Smith ended with an explanation on that score and congratulations are due as his wife went into unexpected labour.

‘Henrik and his wife were expecting a baby and it arrived this morning. It was a little bit of a rush job and he hasn`t slept in 36 hours. She was in hospital but they didn`t think the birth would be as quick as it was. He was a big loss for us as he is one of our more physical players and could have helped us in our box tonight.’

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