Thomas Frank wants the team to go back to basics this evening as we look to take the points against Sheffield Wednesday in TW8. The Bees boss told the press yesterday that if his side can ensure they compete defensively and show initiative on the ball it will put them in a good place to end this three game winless run. Watch Thomas' full pre-match press conference below.
Thomas on our recent form ...
We have done amazingly with everything going around. We came back from a big disappointment with the shortest turnaround of all the Clubs in the Championship and had to go again. We went 21 games unbeaten and then we lost three in a row or we lost three of our last 24. The fact is, at this moment in time, we are second in the Championship. There is a reality check now and we need to move forward from here.
We have played the whole season without our most important midfielder in Christian Norgaard; I don’t see any of the other top six clubs doing that. We have played without our captain [Pontus Jansson] more than half the season. It is remarkable how we have handled that. We have decided to throw in a 21-year-old German midfielder in the mix and he has done fantastic. We have thrown in one of our own from the B Team, Mads Bech Sorensen, and he has done fantastic. We are in such a good position.
The latest injury news
Pontus Jansson will be available around the international break depending on how it goes. Emiliano Marcondes is close but not in the squad tomorrow. Christian Norgaard is getting very close but will not be in the squad tomorrow. Ivan Toney is not as bad as we thought in the beginning which is very positive but he will not start tomorrow. Marcus Forss got a concussion so he is out for tomorrow. Rico Henry will be out for at least two months which is a blow. Josh Dasilva has an injury so will not start tomorrow; he also needs a bit of a rest which is why he’s not started too many games recently. Shandon Baptiste and Charlie Goode are a long way away.
Thomas on keeping things in perspective ...
The first defeat, against Barnsley, will always come. Then you can talk about bad performance or well done by Barnsley, but it was what it was. Then I thought we performed well against QPR but conceded two sloppy goals. The most disappointing one was Coventry City. That was the game where I saw us not working hard enough and that’s the thing we need to change and get back on track. We have a team that will run and fight for each other and the badge tomorrow.
Ten days ago, we were top of the league and 21 games unbeaten, now we have lost three and everyone thinks it is a disaster. It is not; we have not become a bad team overnight. Doing the basics right is what we have done all season. When there is a second ball situation we need to get under the ball and compete. When we are on the ball, we need to have good enough positions, want to play, and take initiative. Tomorrow it is about the basics. Yes, there are tactics and positions and all that but the main basic is to get on the ball after we lose it, make sure we press with intensity, and make sure we win our duels. That is the end of story defensively. On the ball it is about taking initiative, playing forward, and running forward. It is so simple because we have good players and are a good team.
Thomas on dealing with setbacks ...
This is a long journey and every team in this division, and every league in Europe, will have a bump in the road. Sometimes you can’t define it. Sometimes you can say it is injuries or fatigue or a loss of focus. The truth is that the teams, who at the end of this journey stand on the top of this mountain, are the ones who handle these moments the best. My job is to find solutions for the team and give us the biggest possibility to win the next game. We all need to understand that we are in a really good position and have a really good foundation to stand on. Then we need to handle these situations.
Thomas on Sheffield Wednesday ...
There are no easy games whatsoever. It is another big challenge. We will be up for it. They have very good players but for various reasons they are struggling. They have top players. We won the first game 2-1, which was fair, but it was a tough, tough test. Neil Thompson has done a good job under difficult circumstances. Sheffield Wednesday are one of those big English Clubs that needs to stay at least in the Championship. Barry Bannan is a top three playmaker in this division. He is an incredible player; we need to close him down.
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