Brentford's unbeaten away run in the 2021/22 season was brought to an end at Burnley. The Bees conceded three first half goals as they were beaten 3-1 in Lancashire. After the game, Thomas Frank spoke to the written press via a video call. Jim Levack, who has covered Brentford for many years for Press Association, among others, reports on what Thomas had to say..........
“We knew what Burnley would do. We trained for it, talked about it and prepared for it, and then defensively we executed three situations very badly. The first goal, the offside goal and the second goal. In those three moments they executed it perfectly and that’s why it went wrong.
"Even after that, we grew into the game and had a big chance for Ivan. We were okay and looking for something and then we conceded the second which more or less killed it off – then we lost a little bit of structure and discipline.”
Unworried by defeat
“I know it’s three losses in a row but I'm not too fussed about that, especially because in the first two [against Chelsea and Leicester City] we were very good. We will analyse this game calmly and in a level-headed way as we always do and focus on what we can do better as we always do win or lose, for 24 hours. Then we will focus on what we can do better to make sure we hit a top performance mentally and physically on Saturday, and then it will be fine.”
Álvaro's baptism of fire
“Álvaro Fernández had a decent game and made a couple of fantastic saves, especially the one on one. He wasn’t involved in three goals from our perspective because there’s nothing he can do. There are sometimes really, really small details but there were no mistakes in his performance and he will grow and learn and be even better.
"He's a good goalkeeper and we trust him. We bought him in because we believe in him 100 per cent and trust he will grow even more into it.”
The bigger picture
“We’ve played ten games and 20 halves of football and we’ve probably had two bad ones, the second half at West Ham and this first half. But if we continue with that performance level, then no problem. I think we've done fantastically so far and I think we’ve been more than unlucky, but that evens out.
"The last two games we’ve played Chelsea and Leicester and deserved to win both and they are two of the better sides, and then we lost today.”
“No. I told the boys we can't use too much time looking at the first half – we’ll do that on Monday where we can be really critical and analyse the moments. We always say we win or learn and we need to learn from first half so I told them to look forward and think about the next action, the next moment, the next minute and then it’s all about trying to get some pride back.
"I think the boys did acceptably after half time and in the second half we got a goal which showed the mentality in the players. Now its 24 hours max and we move forward.”
Better on the ball
“Throughout the game we weren’t good enough on the ball in general. We played too slowly, made too many tactical mistakes and didn't find good enough solutions. Then when you’re down 2-0 and you're stressing a little bit we actually broke back into the game and then they get a third and you're hunting and chasing the game and then it’s just difficult.“
“The intensity didn’t seem to be there in the first half but if you look at our running stats, we are running a lot – the problem is it was the wrong way. In the first half we didn't take enough care of the ball and they scored after five minutes and they had perfect movement and we didn't defend that well enough. So that kills us a little bit, but that's football.
"The way Burnley play, it's more difficult to put that aggressive high pressure on them because they take no risks and then bang bang two touches and they’re in behind. No complaints, they do it fantastically and we need to do better. So for me, it was the coolness and calmness on the ball that wasn’t good enough.”
Belief in what we’re doing
“If you keep doing the right thing, football is such a fine margin game so when you put the ball in there with pace the little flick sometimes drops for you and sometimes it doesn’t. I think there was a key moment at 3-1 where the ball came across and Ivan and Marcus just misunderstood each other, and that summed it up. A lot of the small balls in there were either not good enough or didn't drop well enough for us. But we just need to keep doing it and they will.”
No Premier League surprises
“We knew from day one that this was going to be a tough, tough competition. It’s the best league in the world with the best players, managers and the biggest budgets. I massively believed before the season that we could do something in this league, and we have big ambitions to finish as high as possible.
"I'm convinced we will do fine, and before the season I knew you can lose three games on the bounce even if you are one of the top ten sides. So now, we learn from this and we'll come back from it.”
"I think it was almost written in the stars. Sean Dyche had been in charge at Burnley nine years on the day we played them, and he has done a fantastic job, so obviously I didn't want to ruin that party. Seriously though, I already praised Sean before so big respect to him.”
And a few words from Sean Dyche
“We’ve put a lot of bright performances in and not got our rewards but today it was another another bright performance and we did get the result. We were really strong first half and well worthy of going in in the lead, but our keeper has had to make a couple of good saves to keep us ahead.
"The performances have been good all season and I’ve kept speaking about margins and details and today it came together and we showed good energy and quality. I believe in what we are doing and in our players and getting that lack of a win knocked off the storyline will give us a little bit more freedom to go and win more.”