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"The team that shows the quality in the crucial moments will win the game"

Thomas Frank looks ahead to tonight's game at The Amex

26 December 2021

Latest Team Selection …

Everyone from the Chelsea squad should be available. None of the injured players will be back.

The [Chelsea] game was very important for us to get up to speed. The six days we couldn’t train on the training ground had an impact when we trained Monday and when we played the game. Quite a few of the players didn’t feel that fresh and were struggling in certain spells. Now they have got through it and the system has got that boost, they will be ready to go on Boxing Day.

Brighton and Hove Albion …

Graham Potter and his staff are doing a top job down there. They develop their style of play constantly. This season, like us, they have been a little unlucky and should have more points. They’ve had a lot of draws in recent games and have struggled a little bit to get over the line. That is because football is a random game. They should have definitely won against Newcastle United and Leeds United. They dominate, create chances, and play a nice style of football.

[The first game] was a totally even game; if there should have been a narrow winner it should have been us. They showed a bit of quality and class in the last minute of the game through Leandro Trossard but, besides that, I was very pleased. I expect an even game between two sides who try to press high and get on the ball. The team that has the most margins with them or shows the quality in the crucial moments will win the game. Hopefully it is us.  

Our recent form …

I spoke to the players about it today. Especially from the Everton game onwards, they have been very good performances. They have been strong defensively, giving very limited chances away to the opponents, and we’ve tried to build more on the attacking side of the game. We are in a very good place and would like to carry that on.

Bringing in the five subs rule …

I think it will be a positive thing. Without Covid I would still want five subs. It adds something new to the game; you can make more tactical changes, it is not only fitness. We’ve gone from one sub, however many years ago, to three and now the squads have increased so I don’t understand why it’s not five. Last year we were one of the top teams in the Championship, so people were probably saying we got an advantage from it. This year we are not one of the top teams, but I still think it would give us a better opportunity. We might have two more players to put on the pitch with fresh legs and energy after we have been pinned in and under pressure.

Today’s Managers and Captain meeting …

The meeting with us and the captains later is to listen to us and to hear our opinions and our experiences of what we are facing every day and every week. I don’t think they will be taking any decisions after that meeting; they will listen to us and then we will see. It has already been decided that the Premier League is continuing, which I think is the right decision. For me it is all about transparency in the number of cases; that needs to be very clear.

The Christmas programme …

Traditions, when they are good, need to be carried on. The Christmas programme is fantastic. One day I would love not to manage a team in England over Christmas and have a few days with the family. I don’t think it’s a problem in terms of games, we play three games a week a lot of other weeks. One thing we need to look at and consider is the cup tournaments. It is the right decision to cancel the FA Cup replays this season and what they’ve done with the Carabao Cup, going straight to penalties, is the right decision. I don’t understand why the Carabao Cup semi-finals are two legs. I like the Christmas programme very much.

If you ask the players, they would love to play 90 minutes after 90 minutes. It is up to us to take good, sensible decisions, looking at their eyes but also all the data and numbers we have on their physical stats. That’s how we look at who we might need to take off because they are more tired or there’s a bigger chance of injury. Maybe we will change some players between the games, but it will not be five or six; it will be two or three if necessary.  

Fans attending the game are reminded that COVID-19 protocols are in place at all major outdoor events. Brentford supporters will need to show proof of their COVID status to gain entry. This is a condition of attendance.

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