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Interviews

🗣 "We have a plan and we are ready to hurt them"

Thomas Frank previews today's trip to the South Coast

24 April 2021

Thomas Frank gave his thoughts to the media on Friday ahead of our lunchtime trip to AFC Bournemouth. The Bees boss assessed the strengths of Jonathan Woodgate's in-form Cherries, how he sees the top two race, and where he feels tactical improvements can be made.

Thomas on mood in the group ...

The mood is good in general. After the Cardiff game there was some disappointment that we didn’t win because we did more than enough to win. It is easier when you give everything and perform well in the match to accept that those are the margins of football. We did what we should do to win the game and we move on. We learn from the small bits we need to adjust and then are ready to go tomorrow against a very good Bournemouth team. If you look back at the games against Preston North End and against Cardiff City, I think we performed much better against Cardiff first-half than we did against Preston but we didn’t score two goals with the two chances. [The formation] looks better and better and it is something that we need to keep working on to maximise.

Thomas on improvements to be made ... 

We are very difficult to beat; we have lost seven games in the whole season which is the best record alongside promoted Norwich City. It is about turning those draws into the wins. I think we have done enough in four of the six draws, but we just need to keep going, adjusting the fine details. We can score goals, but it is in the final third that we can do better. It is not in the final breakthroughs but also to keep the pressure up there and move the ball better. All that was a big improvement against Cardiff and I was pleased with that.

Thomas on the promotion race ...

I’m only planning for Bournemouth tomorrow; that’s the only thing that I am looking at. Some people are asking me who I want to meet in the Play-Offs, but I don’t know or care because I have one game to prepare for which is the next game. We still have a hope for automatics; we will go for that. We will fight to the very end of this season and, if we need to play more matches, we will keep running and doing our very best to get the results we all hope for. We have performed very well this season. Sometimes you forget that we are Brentford, a mid-table budget club. Our model 100 per cent works and it is now two years in a row that we are competing for automatic promotion which is an incredible achievement. Both years we sold some of our best players before the start of the season so we are doing an unbelievable job. Maybe this year we’ve been a bit unlucky with margins and injuries to key players. We need to set things in perspective and think ‘Wow, we’ve done well’. Does that make us sit back? No. We are very ambitious and we are very aware we want to top perform tomorrow against a top side. We are ready to fight tomorrow.

Thomas on AFC Bournemouth ...

I’m very pleased to see Jonathan Woodgate having success alongside his coaching staff and the players. He had a tough time at Middlesbrough and this shows that he is a promising young coach. It is very impressive how he has turned it around. If you look at the sides in the top six now, they are the team in form. We all know that confidence means a lot but their front four look unbelievable. I think Arnaut Danjuma, as a winger, is, for me, the best winger in the division in terms of skill-set, goals, and assists. We all know David Brooks’ quality while Dom Solanke is a striker with massive potential who still has a lot of things to prove, and then there’s Philip Billing who is doing well and impressing me. They have a massive threat going forward that we need to take care of. You can see why they are the top scorers in the division; those four players are Premier League quality and that is what we are facing tomorrow. People are just expecting Brentford to win that which means we have done something unbelievable over the past two years which I am proud of. We have a plan and, I promise you, we are ready to hurt them as well.

Thomas on the strength of the relegated sides ...

My feeling is that Watford, Bournemouth, and Norwich have lost very few players this season. In Bournemouth’s case where they were in the Premier League for five years that means it is a Premier League squad going down. Norwich have done unbelievably well to keep a more a less intact squad from their promotion and relegation. Watford are more or less the same. That is very good quality. We have performed well enough to more than compete with those three teams and, if you look at the games, we could maybe have deserved more. We have everything to play for over the rest of the season and we are ready for that.

Thomas on fighting to the end ...

We beat those four teams [in the Carabao Cup] and we are up there competing; we all know that it is the fine margins that decide if you go up or not. We need to find a way to turn those fine margins into our favour. We have done very well but we are not satisfied; we are not done with the season. We are fighting every day and we are looking forward to a top game tomorrow between two sides who really want to attack.

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