Debut delights for Pep

Debut delights for Pep
Steve Seddon in action at Griffin Park

Three players made their competitive debuts for Blues at Brentford.

Steve Seddon and Dan Crowley started the 1-0 opening day victory, and Ivan Sunjic entered the fray as a 72nd minute substitute.

For Seddon, it was a reward for the progress he made on loan last season at Stevenage and Wimbledon, and his impressive performances this pre-season.

"It was a pleasure to give Steve his debut," said Clotet. "A home-grown player. He has been at the Club since he was younger and was fantastic on loan last season.

"He was ready to start the game. He managed it well, especially against a good player like Dalsgaard. If they can't find the space to play, they go for long diagonals (against the wide players/full-backs) so you have to be ready and compete.

"He had a very good pre-season, he understood the role being asked.

"Yes, it was challenging for him at Brentford. If we did the job right (cutting out spaces between the lines) we knew their option was Dalsgaard, so it was a massive responsibility.

"He managed very well, he had a tough job to do. That's the kind of debut to expect though - there's no easy debuts."

Clotet took Seddon off in the 58th minute and moved the more experienced Maxime Colin to left side of midfield/wing-back, with substitute Wes Harding going to wide right/wing-back.

Crowley also made way after his first appearance proper for Blues - with Sunjic coming on.

"Dan is a young player, he has a lot of talent," said Clotet.

"Maybe this was the kind of game he didn't like. We wanted him to help us turn into a 3-4-3 offensively, he did that in times. But he also had a job to do defensively.

"We want to keep the hard-working mentality of this Club, the defensive organisation. We want to turn into more of a challenger for possession, slowly build that more offensive type of football.

"You can either do a major turnaround, or do it slowly. Brentford, the way they play, it didn't take three months - they did it over a long period. We don't want to lose the type of Club we are. We want to add to it.

"Dan Crowley is an example of someone who will help us to slowly get better on that side, the kind of player who will be important."

Sunjic has only had two full training sessions with Blues since his transfer from Dinamo Zagreb. Hence the decision to involve him off the bench, as David Davis and Gary Gardner are familiar with one another and the new system, having been paired together in pre-season friendlies.

"Ivan, I am happy he came in and had a few minutes," said Clotet. "He is starting to know the Club, his teammates.

"Tactically he did very well, in front of the back three. He took up good positions and made some good actions. He needs more time but I am sure he will adapt and be a very important player for us."

Jake Clarke-Salter was an unused substitute as Clotet opted to field Kristian Pedersen in the back three - where he played for the majority of pre-season - and utilise Seddon on the left of the midfield four.