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Mackail-Smith: Tough test against the Bees

Striker speaks ahead of Saturday's visit of Thomas Frank's side.

19 July 2019

Craig Mackail-Smith expects a tough test for the Chairboys when Championship side Brentford visit Adams Park this weekend.

The 35-year-old striker has featured in both of the opening pre-season friendlies against Barnet and Woking; playing a key role up front in the first 45 minutes of both matches.

He expressed an eagerness to continue clocking up vital minutes ahead of the new League One season and believes the calibre of opposition this weekend provides a perfect opportunity to test themselves.

“Brentford are a fantastic team. We played them last season too and we didn’t get anywhere near them. They were sharp, they moved the ball really well and they’ve got some fantastic players. It’s going to be a great test for us.

“We’re probably going to be chasing more than we have the ball – but you want to be playing against teams like this and test yourselves against them. They’re fantastic workouts before the season starts.

“Once you get into the games pre-season really starts to speed up. The first week is always tough with all of the running and getting back into it after the break. We’ve had two games now and they’ve been two good run outs for the team. They’re coming at us thick and fast now, which I think the boys prefer because they like to get the minutes in early.

“For us, the first friendlies are just fitness-based and the results aren’t that important. And then as we head into the final matches, it’s more about how the team are performing and looking at what style we want to play. It’s nice to finish the pre-season with a few wins and take that momentum into the first game.”

The former Peterborough United man returns to Buckinghamshire following a spell on loan with Notts County last season.

Neal Ardley’s side put up fight to keep their Football League survival hopes alive – but saw their fate confirmed in their final match of the campaign.

“I felt like it was going to be a massive challenge and I wanted to go in there and help as much as I could. And with 20 minutes to go at the end of the season, we were safe. It just wasn’t meant to be.

“Maybe a few results didn’t go our way during my time there, and we could have picked up a few more points than we dropped. It was a great experience and a fantastic club. So I have got no doubts that they will bounce back.

“It’s a fantastic dressing room to be in here. I watched from a far during the final few months of last season and I was just praying that the boys could get the job done and stay up. It was a fantastic achievement from everyone. It’s nice to be back here now so I can work hard and push myself into the team.”

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