Brentford head coach Thomas Frank confirmed a fresh injury blow ahead of Saturday’s west London derby against Chelsea.

Ben Mee was withdrawn during the second half of the Bees’ defeat to West Ham United on Monday night, and a scan has revealed that the defender will miss the remainder of the 2023/24 campaign with an ankle issue.

“It’s our entire back four from last season now out,” Frank began. “Mee got a fracture to his ankle against West Ham.

“Last year, around this time, we were in a 12-game unbeaten run and everyone thought, ‘Wow, Brentford are the best.’

“We have the same staff, same owner [Matthew Benham], the same very good players, so why have we now lost 10 out of 12? Sometimes not as good performances, sometimes margins, sometimes momentum going against us - and definitely injuries.

“Sky ran a story and we have had the second-most injuries with the way they calculated it.

“If you look at key players, I have potentially seven starters out: the back four [Rico Henry, Ethan Pinnock, Mee and Aaron Hickey], Bryan [Mbeumo], Kevin [Schade] and Josh Dasilva. We have a good squad, we have good players, but that makes it a little bit more tough."

Frank added: “It’s up to me and the players to find a way out of it, and we will. We are ready to fight.

“We need the fans. We will probably lose one more game before the end of the season, but we will also win quite a few. We are maybe one game away from an unbeaten run, who knows?

“I’m very optimistic. I’m a massive fighter and my players are massive fighters. When you are in a situation when things are going against you, you can only do one thing: get tighter together, nothing through us and fight. I can’t wait for tomorrow.”