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Interviews

"We will find a way and find a plan"

Watch Thomas Frank's pre-Manchester City Press Conference

29 December 2021

Team News …

Bryan Mbeumo will most likely not make it and Christian Norgaard is suspended. No one is back. Vitaly Janelt is out. Mads Roerslev could potentially come back but that will be touch and go. He can definitely not play 90 minutes. Zanka and Charlie Goode will also be out.  

I take it game by game and I want to do everything I can to get three points from this game. Maybe it is even more important to have a full-strength team against teams other than Manchester City because most likely you aren’t getting anything. I would have preferred not to be missing six of my normal starters, but it is what it is. We will put a team out that will run and fight. We will do everything we can to get three points.

Facing Manchester City …

We are playing against the team with potentially the biggest budget in the division and the greatest manager of the modern era. They have unbelievable players and a very specific style of play that makes it quite difficult for a team like us. They are so good at keeping the ball and they almost never risk it. It is going to be very difficult. The good news is that we have done quite well against the two other top teams in the division, Liverpool and Chelsea. I wanted to play them with full strength. When we played Liverpool and Chelsea, we played our strongest side and we proved we can do something. I promise we will put a side out there that will run and fight; we will do everything we can to tweak it and take our advantages in the game. I fully believe we can get something out of the game. I massively believe our fans will be bang on it; they need to be so fantastic to encourage us through the game because it is football and anything can happen.

We are playing against the best offensive team in the world, lacking a few of our best defensive players, that is a little bit of a mismatch. We will find a way and find a plan. We have other players who will have to step in and be ready to perform.

I am really looking forward to playing against one of the best teams in the world. At this moment in time, they are really in form and playing football for fun. Their players are really enjoying it. It is going to be a top test that we are looking forward to and will embrace.

Pep Guardiola …

I have never faced him in a game or met him. He’s a coach that I’ve studied a lot, especially in his Barcelona time. He is a very innovative coach and always tweaks it with the positions. The build-up from behind and the way they keep the ball and break through is something I have been studying. It is difficult to copy but it is nice to get inspiration from that. It is going to be a very good experience to meet him and face his team. Depending a little bit on the result, maybe I’ll try to forget it as quick as possible or remember it a little bit longer.

Wednesday’s gameplan …

We need to be smart. A full-strength Chelsea team struggled against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge and that tells the whole story. We need to defend fantastically throughout the game with unbelievable mentality and structure. Then we need to pick our moments on the counter-attack as it will be the counter-attack, or set-pieces, where we can threaten them.

These games against teams that are better than you, you need to defend very well and nail that low block. Then you need to counter. That will be the main idea. I don’t think that’s any secret; I don’t think he is expecting anything else. We normally do well in the low block but we are facing the best team in the world against the low block.

In one game anything can happen. We’ve seen this season that City lost to Crystal Palace at home. Manchester City must have one of the best records against teams in the lower end of the table because they just dominate so much.  

This season they have added to their offensive set-pieces and are one of the top three teams for scoring from offensive set pieces. They are very strong on the counter and are the best team in the world by far when they play against a low block because they have one vs one players. They have unbelievable passing players, great combinations, and cross from everywhere. They are very difficult to prepare against. Usually you tell players they need to double up on this player but this team you need to double up on six or seven of the players which is difficult.

Frank Onyeka …

Frank deserves a lot of praise. We’ve played 17 games so far and he’s started eight or nine and come on in the rest. For the first season in England and the Premier League, it is important that they know their role. Every player needs to understand that we will need them at some stage. It is important to have players who can change the game like Frank did last night.

Building on 2021 …

We need to do something really special to beat this year. Hopefully we can have a fantastic finish to this year and start the new year very well. Going into the best league in the world for the first time and getting back to the top-flight for the first time in 74 years is very special. We’ve continued doing well in the Premier League and that is quite remarkable. I am very proud and privileged that I’ve been part of that.

Keeping players sharp …

We try to make sure that all players who aren’t playing regular minutes are up to speed fitness-wise. We train them hard and try to give them as close to the same exposure as the match. We train with some offensive and defensive principles which we try to do consistently so it is easier for the players to step in.

All supporters must fill in a Covid-19 Self Declaration form before coming tonight and be able to show proof of an NHS COVID Pass or negative test result within the last 48 hours

Get yourself match ready here 


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