Brentford suffered Boxing Day defeat as they were beaten 2-0 by Brighton and Hove Albion. The Bees started well but conceded two goals late in the first half and could find no way back. 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..........
Short sharp shock
“Brighton were the best side in the first half and we were the better side in the second, but in the first we were, especially on the ball, terrible. We took too many bad decisions, bad quality, not enough personality on the pitch, and then we lost the game in a short spell.”
Scoring at the right time
“It was a defensive mistake for the first goal and the second was brilliant from Neal Maupay, a great finish. In the second half we showed more without being fantastic and we had the chances to score a 2-1 goal that could have made it more interesting and put a little bit more pressure on Brighton. It was a fairly even game that could have been a draw, but if you look in timeframes of when they scored it was difficult for us to come back. On the day we just didn't have enough to come back at them with.”
“It’s a very tricky and challenging situation and times for everyone, especially for the League and the clubs, but I think we all agree we need to play on if we can. For me though we just need to be absolutely clear when a game is postponed or not. I think there's three principles around the need to be very transparent when they postpone a game, so their statement needs to be clear. So it's principle one, principle two or principle three, and I don't think they’ve been that (transparent) so far.”
“I completely agree (with some other managers) that we need five subs. I’ve always wanted that, and I said it last year in the Championship and again earlier this year. I know we are one of the clubs in the Premier League with the lowest budget and probably the thinnest squad, but I still think that will help all of us. I don't know who takes that decision – apparently it’s not the league – but I think we should do that relatively quickly.”
“It’s always harsh for the player being subbed off but I felt that we needed to be a little bit more dynamic and win the ball in there. On the ball in the first half we were not good enough. And that was not only Mathias [Jensen’s] fault, it was the whole team, I think that was the biggest issue. So I wanted to change the dynamic. I think it helped a bit.”
The German Under-21 tested positive for COVID in the build-up and will also miss the next game, against Manchester City on Wednesday.
“He is a crucial player for various reasons, and he’s been one of our best players over the last 18 months, so of course we missed him but it is what it is. I wanted him in the side but I also wanted Rico Henry, David Raya and Kristoffer Ajer, but you know all teams have their issues, either with injuries or COVID.”
“Rico Henry has a minor grade injury to the hamstring so hopefully he’ll be back sooner rather than later but I think he will be very doubtful for the Man City game. Bryan Mbeumo was struggling with a tight calf so that’s why he couldn't continue.”
Staying in the game…
“We started quite well in the first half and then they came a little bit on top of us, but still without creating anything. Then a little bit out of the blue they scored the first goal and after that we needed to be more composed and calm and not give the second one away. It was a good goal from Neal, but we needed to stay in the game and not concede.”
… and looking after the ball
“We came back in the second half with a more normal level on the ball, but still not our highest. I think that was the biggest thing today… we just kept throwing the ball away. Too many times we just gave ball away, too many times we had a bad touch or bad decision and that needs to be better of course.”