Neal Maupay’s new trend for scoring with outrageous flicks has come as no surprise to his team-mates, according to Kamohelo Mokotjo.
Maupay’s last two goals for Brentford have both come via cheeky back-heels, against Bolton last month and at Sunderland on Saturday.
It’s been a typically Gallic response to the stick the French striker got for his stunning miss at Cardiff in December, and means he is now on eight goals in his debut Bees season.
“Neal did very well. He’s a player with a great strikers’ instinct and I think the fans will get to enjoy a lot of him,” said Mokotjo after the Sunderland game.
“He’s always been showing what he’s capable of. These things (the miss) happen in football but he works hard for the team and tries to get his goals, and that’s the most important thing. If he doesn’t he gets frustrated.
“He’s a good guy to have on the team and has a lot of talent. He’s a different type of striker – not just being in the right place at the right time but he’s also a genuine footballer, which makes it easier for him to do these flicks.
“All the things that supporters like to see, he does it in training too, so it’s no surprise to us. I think we have a very talented attacking players and they all complement each other well so that’s good for us.”
Those attacking players have had more responsibility on their shoulders – none more so than Maupay – since Lasse Vibe’s departure.
But Mokotjo, who helped out with scoring duties with his first goal for the Bees at Sunderland, insists it’s a burden which must be shared by all.
“It’s more pressure on everyone,” he said. “Every position has a lot of competition, and that’s why we can come to places like this and play with such intensity, flair and bravery. We have a bunch of players who are responsible for themselves in a positive way.”
Brentford take on Birmingham City tonight looking to make it back to back wins, coming up once more against the three former Bees who left for Brum on transfer deadline day in August.
Although Mokotjo had only known Harlee Dean, Maxime Colin and Jota for a matter of months before their exits, he believes the response to their departure from his new club was excellent.
“It was a bit strange for me, but in transfer windows anything can happen,” he added. “I was just focused on settling in, but I completely believe in the players the club has, and that’s why I joined.
“The players reacted in a really positive way. As much as we’re free minded, we’re also very brave and dominant in what we do regardless of the situation.
“We also have a good scouting system, and that makes it easier – the rest is just putting the puzzle together on the pitch. You can almost play any player in any position, which is good for us.”