Brentford head coach Dean Smith reckons his team were denied a "blatant penalty" in their goalless draw at Derby.

Brentford denied 'blatant penalty' in goalless draw at Derby, claims Dean Smith

Brentford denied 'blatant penalty' in goalless draw at Derby, claims Dean Smith

Derby have scored only seven goals in 13 Championship matches and Smith thought his team could have taken all three points when Romaine Sawyers seemed to be fouled inside the area in the second half.

"I don't know if we deserved to win but we certainly deserved a penalty, " Smith said. "It was a blatant penalty, there was contact from behind with legs and there was also a pull on the shoulder as well.

"It was a double whammy and how it's not given I don't know. I think their bench was embarrassed it wasn't given as well."

If Derby hoped the momentum of Saturday's win over Leeds would carry over they were frustrated by a busy and disciplined Brentford side who passed the ball well and limited Steve McClaren's side to few clear chances.

Tom Ince fired over from 15 yards early on and had a free-kick turned over by Daniel Bentley towards the end of a poor first half in which Brentford went closest through a Sawyers header.

The loss of midfielder Will Hughes midway through the first half hampered Derby's flow but they improved in the second with Johnny Russell, who scored the winner against Leeds, seeing a shot cleared off the line by Andreas Bjelland.

Sawyers was denied what looked a penalty when he appeared to be caught by Ikechi Anya and Carson had to make another sharp save to turn a low drive from the midfielder behind before Scott Hogan fired into the side-netting from a tight angle late on.

Ince was inches away from connecting with a low cross from Anya but Sawyers almost won it with a shot that just cleared the bar in the 83rd minute.

"I thought our performance was very good, very disciplined and the intensity of pressing in our half was very good," Smith added.

"Derby have got very good players but had very few clear-cut chances and I think our goalkeeper was rarely troubled.

"We felt our defending wasn't good enough on Saturday at Newcastle, we needed to put that right and I thought we created the better chances that were out there tonight."

McClaren admitted his team have to improve and need to be braver with the ball.

"The first half was too slow, no tempo and a little too safe," the Derby manager said.

"But we've got to play football with these players, they are football players, we can't play long ball.

"At times they are making mistakes but that will progress and will get better and I had no faults apart from in the final third where we needed that bit of magic.

"A draw was probably a fair result, we huffed and puffed without blowing the house down.

"The attitude is great and they are a good bunch to work with, we are keeping clean sheets and are four games unbeaten and I think that's key.

"We talk a lot about courage and bravery and that's what we are asking of this team, to take the ball and pass from the back.

"We are not taking shots when we should and are looking for the extra pass."

McClaren confirmed striker James Wilson has returned to Manchester United after injuring a knee in training on Monday.

"He will be scanned and assessed tomorrow and we will know the full extent then," said McClaren.