Pep Clotet delivers Birmingham City warning ahead of Brentford test

Blues welcome Brentford to St Andrew's this weekend as they seek a fourth straight league win - the Bees, though, pose a particularly stern test, but Clotet knows this


Birmingham City might’ve toppled promotion chasers Nottingham Forest and Bristol City in recent weeks, but Pep Clotet has warned his Blues players that Brentford pose a different type of threat when they visit St Andrew’s this weekend.

The Bees find themselves in the same situation as Forest and the Robins with a third of the regular campaign to go, and although Blues posted impressive successes against both of those outfits since the beginning of February, Clotet expects an alternative footballing test that his own side must be alive to.

Thomas Frank boasts a fearsome front-line in Ollie Watkins, Said Benrahma and Bryan Mbuemo, but Blues posted their first clean sheet since October at Barnsley midweek.

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They also secured a shut-out on the opening day of the season when Kristian Pedersen’s header earned them all three points at Griffin Park, and head into this meeting on a high after a series of positive results.

“Yes, they’re very difficult,” Clotet admitted, speaking of this Saturday’s opponents. “I know very well how Brentford play and I know their model as a club. I think Brentford could put a class out how to run a football club. They are a product of very meticulous planning.

“They have an idea and pull everyone together for that idea. They have reasonable and achievable goals. They are a very competitive team who plays offensive football with the right elements because all the recruitment is spot on.
Pep Clotet at the end of the game

“At the same time they have that mix of youth as well and getting gems that you find in League One and develop them for next season and selling those players once they have developed them because you need to comply with FFP rules.

“And slowly they are building a new stadium, so it is clearly an example of how a football club should be run. When it comes to the team, they can cause problems to any opponents because they are very aggressive offensively.

“But they know how to link with important players in the team and they have a back-up way of doing it and they have three players up front who make a huge difference in the Championship.

“The fact they are playing now to try and reach the top two, it just says it all.”

Blues are in a good place right now, in terms of results; they haven’t lost since New Year’s Day and are currently on a run of nine matches without a defeat in all competitions, having won their last three games.

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The opportunity to make that ten without defeat when they entertain Brentford is one Clotet says they’re relishing, and he’s been pleased with how Blues have responded to moments of adversity this season.

“Yes, in any sport it’s very difficult,” Clotet explained. “That just shows the strength of the squad and the belief that they have in themselves and in the work that we all do.

“The one thing we are experts in this season is overcoming difficulties and working under difficult circumstances.”