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Reaction: Blues 1 Brentford 0

It was a good game and a good win. But I was particularly pleased with the performance and the spirit of the team.

Aitor Karanka

Aitor Karanka's comments after seeing Blues beat Brentford in their opening game of the 2020/21 Sky Bet Championship campaign...

On what was a hard-fought win against the Bees...
"It was a good game and a good win. But I was particularly pleased with the performance and the spirit of the team. The first step was to see that commitment out on the pitch. I knew that we had five or six players out there who weren't here last year. I thought all week about how I could manage those players, whether to start with them or have them on the bench and I decided to start them from the beginning because I thought that we needed to change something. We showed that we are a committed team. I was really pleased because players like Lukas Jutkiewicz, Ivan Sanchez, and Jon Toral could play 60 or 70 minutes - in Jukey's case the 90 - which was good for the team and good to build on."

Asked about the psychological importance of a first win for 16 matches and keeping a clean sheet...
"Both. To win a game is important and to keep a clean sheet is even more important because with that team spirit, this work ethic and with quality players at the end, we will improve and we will win games. But it is the first step.

On Zach Jeacock's performance in goal after seeing him make his First Team debut at just 19, following an injury to Andres Prieto...
"For me the 'keeper should be a good goalkeeper, but the most important thing for a goalkeeper is that he is calm. When a 'keeper transmits that calm to the team it is amazing. And you could see that everyone trusted him. I met him a month ago and if he has something it is that he is calm and confident and even when he is nervous you can't feel it. Neil (Etheridge) arrived yesterday and he didn't train with the team and he didn't know his new teammates. Zach played today like he was on the training ground because he is so calm, and he has a very bright future in front of him, and now we need to think about the (long-term) situation. He can become a very good goalkeeper, but we can't make the mistake of thinking that he is ready. He needs to improve. We are well covered in goal with Neil and Andres."

On Lukas Jutkiewicz's powerful contribution to the victory....
"He battled for 90 minutes and tried to hold up every ball. He was desperate to play. He's an amazing professional. He is respected by other teams. I used to be a central defender and I wouldn't have liked to play against him. He's a warrior and goes for every single ball, and when you think he is tired he appears again."

Asked if Blues were making inroads on overcoming a losing mentality...
"I hope so. They showed that with the way they competed for every single ball and how committed they were for every second ball. The players were exhausted (at the end). When you have that spirit in the team and you add quality, you will go (do well)."

On Ivan Sanchez's performance on his debut...
"I was pleased with him. He can bring us something different."

The togetherness on show...
"The effort of the players, the attitude they had on the pitch, on the bench - everyone on the bench was supporting their teammates, they were not in a mood because they weren't playing - they all know that if you support each other the only way to be successful is when you are going together."

On the addition of Neil Etheridge to the squad on Friday from Cardiff...
"He is a good goalkeeper and he got promotion. He has a good character and experience. He's another good addition and he's been well received by the fans."

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