Brentford defender Pontus Jansson has suggested that he is using the disappointment of missing out on promotion to the Premier League with Leeds United last season as motivation to ensure the Bees beat Fulham in the play-off final.
Jansson was a key figure for Leeds at the heart of their defence as they made it to the play-off semi-finals last season only to suffer a heart breaking late defeat against Derby County, and the Sweden international made the decision to leave Elland Road for Brentford last summer.
The defender has been an equally reliable figure at the heart of Brentford’s defence this term, and has helped Thomas Frank create more solidity to the way that the Bees operate – and Jansson was able to recover from an error which allowed Swansea City to pull a goal back in their second leg win as Brentford reached the final against Fulham.
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Speaking to the media ahead of the play-off final, via Leeds Live, Jansson revealed that the feeling of missing out on promotion with the Whites last season will provide him with extra motivation to make sure the Bees do not suffer similar disappointment.
He said: “It means everything. If worst-case scenario we lose, it’s probably going to be quite tough to look forward to playing another 46 games, but that’s just what it is. We have to give everything we have and a little bit more to win the game.
“For me personally this is what I’ve been fighting for since I lost the play-off semi-final with Leeds, which is why I was so emotional we won the game (against Swansea). I’ve been waiting one year, so this is why it means everything to me.”
Jansson has already played an instrumental part in helping the Bees go one better than Leeds last season in reaching the play-off final, but that will mean little if he can not help Frank’s side finish the job in what is sure to be a very intriguing and close contest against Fulham.
The defender has been a key part of Brentford’s push for promotion and has proved to be an astute acquisition from Leeds, with his leadership skills and presence in the defence helping the Bees become much more of a solid side allowing the platform for the front three to flourish.
The Sweden international will be hoping he got what was a rare error out of the way against Swansea in the second leg of the semi-final, and he will need to be at his best to help keep Fulham’s attack quiet for the full match at Wembley.