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Thomas Talks… big numbers and a massive achievement

Report from the post-match written press conference after Leeds draw

6 December 2021

Brentford were denied three points away from home against Leeds United by a last second equaliser yesterday afternoon. The Bees recovered from conceding first to take a 2-1 lead just after the hour mark thanks to goals from Shandon Baptiste and Sergi Canós. But Leeds found a way to level at the death and take a share of the spoils.

After the game, Thomas Frank spoke to the written press via a video call. They discussed the 2-2 draw, which Leeds earned as Patrick Bamford scored from a corner in stoppage time. Jim Levack, who has covered Brentford for many years for Press Association, among others, reports on what Thomas had to say..........

Battling against the odds

“Immediately afterwards it was definitely not a point to celebrate, but what I will celebrate is the performance. We went up there without key players and no complaints because Leeds have injuries as well. But when you have the lowest budget – and again no complaints – it's harder when you're missing key players in key positions and especially when you're missing three or four.”

Keeping it tight

“It was a top performance in the first half, a really good start for the first 10 or 15 minutes. Then Leeds were on top but we defended very, very well and gave nothing away except for the goal. Besides that, nothing.

"Second half we stepped up and pressed a bit higher, which we also wanted to do in first half and did in spells. We were successful, won the ball twice, scored two very good goals and were completely in control. They didn't create anything and then a last minute set piece goal… that's a tough one.”

Being prepared

“We found out (about Ivan Toney’s positive Covid test) on Friday. It is what it is. You get an injury, you can get Covid these days. These things happen but we are always ready and prepared.”

Spanish style

“I went with Sergi because I wanted a more one v one kind of player that could keep the ball in attacking situations and also go past people, because we know Leeds are very man (marking) orientated. I think he repaid me for the trust I had in him. He created chances, a goal and scored so I think all in all it was a very fine performance from him.”

Finding solutions…

Canós' fifth yellow of the season means he misses Friday’s Watford game, but Thomas insisted: “We will find a solution just like we did at Leeds, but going to Elland Road and being so much on top in the second half, that's very impressive and something we will take into our next game.”

Pride in numbers

“I was so pleased with what the players put out there, for them… but I also need to praise my medical staff and my performance staff for having them ready. We played on Thursday night against Tottenham Hotspur and had our highest output of the season. We’re one of the top running teams in this division in terms of high intense numbers and then we had to go again three days later against the top scorers in the league in terms of running and sprinting."

Massive achievement

“To perform like we did is a massive achievement in itself from the players, medical staff and performance staff, and Leeds were fresher as they had four days recovery, which means something.”

Not being bitter

“I’ve got no complaints (about the tight turnaround) – we were ready. I never complained about it in the Championship and I'll never complain about it here. I'll make sure my players are ready because I have fantastic staff and fantastic players.”

Defending to the end

“Álvaro’s first save from Luke Ayling was a big one, but it doesn't count as a save because it was a free kick so it would never have been a goal. But it was nice to see him save it. Besides that, we need to look at the situation before the corner (and Leeds’ last-ditch equaliser). But as far as I know we still had a very good chance to defend the corner.”

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