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Interviews

"We have created something good; now we will attack and hope we can do it"

Thomas Frank previews tonight's Play-Off Semi-Final First Leg

17 May 2021

Watch Thomas Frank's pre-match press conference below where he previews tonight's trip to the South Coast for our Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final First Leg against AFC Bournemouth.

Thomas on previous meetings with AFC Bournemouth …

If you ask me, or ask any coach, if you want momentum and to play well then they would prefer that but we all know that the next game is a new history, that is for sure. A Play-Off Semi-Final will be a completely different story and a completely different match. Everyone will be all in and there will be one winner. I don’t know how much you can use it in these games. This is a new story. We will come with everything; we know, looking at the odds, that it will be a completely even game and even games you can win, or you can lose.

They will look back on these games, the same as we will, and think how can we tweak it, how can we get the upper hand? When you blow the first whistle people will run more than they are used to, people will be more switched on, and it will just be the finest margins. The Bournemouth players will think they were flying in the first 25 minutes of both games and they were unlucky not to get the goal, which maybe they were. Then would it have been a different game or not. They are different games. Jonathan Woodgate and I will look at each other before the game and think what has he prepared, what can we expect? Will they do the same or is there a little trick?

Thomas on last year’s experiences …

 It has definitely been a fuel throughout the season. The players have used it brilliantly. We were very close to making it to the top two. We talk about how fantastic the season has been but now it is the cup tournament of the season. It is still a fuel but also an experience that even if you do everything perfect you can still lose a match. We need to go in with that burning desire and leave everything out there. We need to be brave and do everything we normally do and understand it is life and death in the 90 minutes. After that, however, life goes on. It is good to put it in that perspective because there is a lot at stake, and we want it badly. We need to understand that it is not an exam where if you do well you get your A+. There are a lot of other things that can affect it. Even if we perform to A+ we are not sure we will get the outcome we want.

Thomas on this campaign …

We all have more experience from last season. We evaluated what we could adjust and do a bit better. We still want to be a good defensive side and we still want to attack. However, we got another striker in, so you adjust the tactic to his abilities. I know we had the Covid situation last year, but this year wasn’t a 12-game run-in, this was 46 games in a shorter spell. We had 20 weeks of Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday which was crazy; it was about us handling that. We found a way to rotate the squad and maximise things week in week out. We just had a strategy meeting to look back on things and one of the surprising things was that our physical output was higher this year than last year. That is very impressing and a big compliment to the players and the performance staff.

Thomas on team selection …

It is very difficult I must say. The good thing is that the team which has played has been in good form. There are some players, like Saman Ghoddos and Emiliano Marcondes, who are pushing. Emiliano has a fantastic mentality which he showed last season and I am not afraid to throw him in there. Rico Henry is available; I have a big call to make if I start him. He has been out for three months, but he is available which is a positive. There is a lot of thinking to do but let’s see what I choose.

The new formation in the 3-5-2 has looked good in many ways. If Henrik Dalsgaard and Rico Henry hadn’t got injured, I’m 100 per cent sure I wouldn’t have changed the system. Now I have a few things to think about. They are two good solutions to choose from.

Thomas on the build-up …

Speaking for myself, Sunday off and a walk in Notting Hill with my wife, a nice lunch, and relaxing with my daughter. Monday and Tuesday was planning and then in Wednesday morning ready to attack. We have this new gym marquee and the players came in buzzing, full of energy, and talking. I thought they haven’t been away for three weeks, just three days. The energy in the room was amazing and I just love that atmosphere as it tells me the squad is in a good place and the club is in a good place. We have created something good and now we will attack and hope we can do it.

Thomas on our Play-Off record ...

That is history. For us it is not going into our head because we know that there is not a Voodoo curse over Brentford that means we can’t get a positive result. I understand the fans and their emotions; they are not in it, they can’t control it, they are worried. We are going in there with the knowledge that we can win, or we can lose; the knowledge that these are big games that we will do everything we can to come out on the right side of. We have more experience; we will be in a better place. Will that give us enough to win? Maybe. Maybe in the tight moments but there are a lot of other margins that are not only about experience. We are in a good place going into the Semi-Finals.

Thomas on the return of fans …

If you haven’t been riding a bicycle for a long time the first 200 metres might be a bit shaky but then it’s been like you have done for the last ten years. I definitely think it can have an impact, especially in the first spell of the game because I am sure the Bournemouth fans will do everything they can to put pressure on us and back their home side. Likewise, we can’t wait to open our new home to our fantastic fans and invite them in; they will do everything they can to get behind us and push us forward.

Monday's game is exclusively live on Sky Sports with audio commentary on iFollow Brentford.

Get your match pass here


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