Good afternoon everyone and thank you for coming along to enjoy our second home friendly this week. We thank Birmingham City and their manager Harry Redknapp for bringing a side here today; they are a fantastic football club and we wish them well for the season ahead.
The game against Brentford on Wednesday night was another good, tough test as we continue to tweak things and make improvements. We are very competitive and want to win every game we are involved in, but this stage of the summer is much more about fitness and preparation than the results and we certainly learned a lot from the game.
Brentford are a good Championship side and made a very bright start to the game. However, I was more than happy with the reaction we showed to turn things around to go from being two goals down to 3-2 up. After Marvin's penalty it was good to see Kane score his second goal of the pre-season campaign and for James Henry to be on target on his home debut; I'm sure that those goals will only breed confidence. Despite it being these players who got their names on the scoresheet, the whole team showed real character and a lot of quality in the build-up to each of the goals.
Ultimately we were undone by two good strikes late in the game but there were some very good performances and we can take heart from plenty that we saw.
There may be a couple of new faces in the squad today as well. On Tuesday we signed Xemi, a very exciting prospect from the successful Barcelona B team. Wednesday night was just a bit soon but we hope he can be involved today and we also have Jon Obika and Dwight Tiendalli approaching fitness and eager to show what they can do. As I write these notes we are working hard to bring another new player into the group and hopefully that hard work pays off in time for them to be involved.
Finally, I wanted to end these notes with a thank you to everyone who has made me feel so welcome this week. It was a wonderful feeling to come to the ground on Wednesday and truly feel at home. The staff have been fantastic but I also wanted to thank the fans because everywhere I went there were people wishing me well or wanting a selfie. It was very humbling to receive this welcome and something I want to repay many times over during what I am sure will be a successful season.