Brentford midfielder Lewis Macleod, 24, attended this week’s Brentford press conference, the first since the tragic death of Robert Rowan, the Brentford Technical Director, who died last week aged 28.
Macleod, a fellow Scot, expressed his grief at the loss of Rob: “I think I can speak for everybody at the club in saying the last two weeks have been really difficult. Obviously at the start of last week it was extremely sad to hear the news we did, but everyone rallied around each other and just tried to continue and do the best job we can,” he said.
“I knew Rob on a personal front as well as working alongside him. I think everyone who knew him around the football club will say what a great guy he was, and it was devastating to hear the news.
“When I moved down here, I was only 20 years old and Rob had moved down six months before me. That Scottish connection meant that we went out for dinner and saw each other outside of football.”
Macleod has had a difficult few years at Brentford. Since joining in 2015 he has made only 37 appearances for the club because of long injury lay-offs. This season though Macleod has played a prominent role, making 14 appearances and scoring 2 goals.
Discussing his own position in the squad he said: “It’s been up and down I think, I was confident at the start of the season and playing quite regularly, but the last month or so I haven’t played as much which has been frustrating, but I’m in contention for the weekend so hopefully I can start.”
He hasn’t played recently because of an injury picked up in the defeat to Norwich. “I felt a niggle in my hamstring at the end of the Norwich game but obviously then we had the international break, and I have trained all week and I’m feeling good.
“I hate niggles the most because bigger injuries you can get your head round and accept, you’re going to be out, niggles are frustrating as you just want to play football. I just want to play as much as I can, this is my first season where I have been fit and starting. So the only thing I am focusing on is playing as much as I can.”
On the upcoming two fixtures Macleod believed they are both games which Brentford must win.
“We need to start picking up momentum again, we had it at the start of the season but the last few games we haven’t quite had it, but that is down to us, we need to switch on and focus and get three points from the next few games.”
Macleod is correct as Brentford’s form over the last ten games is the second worst in the league with only Bolton picking up fewer points. However he recognised things were not going to get easier against a Middlesbrough side who boast the best defensive record in the league.
“They have only conceded eight goals this season, which is quite incredible, but at home if we are on our game, we are confident we can open up teams. I would like to think if we can perform on Saturday then we will get the win,” he said.